When I'm going to install Linux for the first time on a computer I try several different distributions by means of booting the live CD/DVD to see which one works best with my computer's hardware.
That said, a flickering screen would suggest that the refresh rate on the Linux driver is too low. Do you have a CRT or an LCD monitor? It is also possible that Linux is loading the proper driver but it is not working properly.
I found the following web page.
On that web page is the following information.
Some architectures use the kernel framebuffer to offer installation in a number of languages. If framebuffer causes a problem on your system you can disable the feature using the parameter vga=normal fb=false. Problem symptoms are error messages about bterm or bogl, a blank screen, or a freeze within a few minutes after starting the install.
I'm not able to run the Ubuntu 10.10 installer right now so I'm not sure what part of the boot process would allow you to set that parameter. Generally you press the escape key when you see the first boot screen.
Still, if I were to encounter this problem during an installation I would try a different distribution such as PCLinuxOS or Linux Mint 10.