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Actually, could have anything from just 1 partition (just /) or 4-5 (e.g. /boot, /, /home, /var, swap).
The general advice on swap has been about 1.5x size of memory. However many have been arguing that when you approach 3-4 Gb of RAM you don't actually need any swap. This is on the bases any swap is unlikely to be used, but it does depend on how you use the machine.
On a laptop where you don't plan to try out lots of different OSs or boot lots of different Linux kernels, the benefit of having a /boot partition is also limited. So on a general purpose, personal laptop with 1 or 2 Gb of RAM I would have limited myself to swap and /. You'll just waste space by splitting it further.
Someday you will grow inquisitive over some distros and you may want to install them for a try in your nice laptop. Or that you will come to need badly a software that only runs over an xp like the nokia pc suite, and you may want a little space for that lame duck from the primary slices since it doesn't install anywhere else.
If I had your nice hard drive I will spare two more primary partitions of 6 GBs each aside from the first partition. The rest you can slice them into logical partitions as many as you can to house your /home /usr and data.
So it looks like this:
1st partition -type Primary 6 Gbs
2nd partition -type Primary 6 Gbs
3rd partition -type Primary 6 Gbs
4th partition -containing logical drives 232 Gbs all
LONG TERM PLAN is necessary in partitioning fresh drives because when time comes you need primary or logical spaces adding new ones will sometimes require moving up and down existing data: you can only imagine what patience you'll need moving 50Gb of data to another span of sectors. Anyway if meantime the other two primary partitions are not yet needed you can use them for some important ubuntu folders like /boot /etc and /usr.
Also allocate two or three separate swap partitions at sizes you want somewhere the beginning sectors of 4th partitions that they be nearer to the primary partitions, just in case someday you'd want to run Slackware or RHL or other distros in your beautiful laptop (although linuxes are really good to install even at the tip of logical drive.)
This is just an old man's advice. I can only show you the door, but you're the one who'll walk through it.