I highly recommend obtaining texlive from the website
instead of pulling it in from the Ubuntu reposities. I didn't check the latest (10.10) case, but at least in the previous (10.04) and older versions they only offered an old version of texlive, which is not what you want (meaning truly old, not just "the yesterday version"). Well, you may not notice it if you're lucky, but I was writing a book-ish thing at the time, and found a few problems with tables that could not be solved (sanely) without updating to a recent version.
Installing "semi-manually", by going to the aforementioned website, is not difficult (I'd say if you can run apt-get, you can do the installation from there as well, and you do find instructions for it). If you're just playing around with tex, go ahead with the Ubuntu reposity version, but else go for the latest (stable) version.