Certainly I have to give up trying Ubuntu/Linux.
Have you tried Ubuntu just from the live disk first? (just trying out Ubuntu to get a feel for the OS as can be done on the W7 machine without installing Ubuntu).
Other option is to uninstall W7, do a full install of Ubuntu as the only OS, then install Virtual Box in Ubuntu and then reinstall W7 in Virtual Box. Running W7 in Virtual Box is much easier as you don't have to choose between OS's at boot up. I'm curious that when you installed Ubuntu did you do the install side-by-side? And did you get GRUB on bootup when all was said and done? Usually you don't actually lose the W7 OS etc when the two won't run side-by-side, it's usually a matter of repairing GRUB.
If you want to have dual booting then I'm assuming you have already resized the W7 partition before installing Ubuntu? If not it is better to do that first instead of making Ubuntu do it. Get you a 64/32 bit Parted Magic bootable thumbdrive (or dvd) and run it after you've reinstalled W7 and before you install Ubuntu, use Parted Magic to resize the W7 partition leaving an unallocated area after the W7 partition for the Ubuntu install (just shrink the W7 partition, don't 'move' it). Reboot in W7 to make sure the resize truly was/is successful. Then do your Ubuntu install, might want to look for another tutorial. I haven't installed Ubuntu alongside W7 but had no problem installing it alongside XPHome on an old Dell Dimension 2400 desktop (32bit single cpu ...old). Can't run any higher than 11.04 Ubuntu though, tried 11.10 and pc couldn't handle it.
The other thing you mention is the graphics going wonky, that may be due to what graphics selection was made during install. I prefer running Windows in Virtual Box on a Linux pc, if you do, make sure you install all your Windows software before installing the virtualbox guest-addon pack you need for usb support and a few other vbox goodies.