The latest 64-bit version of Xubuntu after adding a few tweaks and patches to get the ATI driver, the touchpad, and sound card working works great on my almost 3 month old laptop.
I was able to install all my favorite software and place it in a convenient location.
The touchpad and the ATI driver were the two hardest things to get working.
To get the ATI video card working I had to install the Hardware Restricted ATI driver, reboot, remove the Hardware Restricted ATI driver, install "build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0", reboot, download the ATI driver from their website, install the driver, reboot, create an aticonfig configuration file, reboot, tweak ATI configuration file, reboot, now it works. WOW!!!
The touchpad had a strange problem where the right click acted as a left click. To fix this I had to install "xserver-xorg-input-mutouch", reboot, create "/etc/modprobe.d/psmouse.modprobe" and add "options psmouse proto=exps", reboot, now it works. WOW!!!
For some reason Linux thinks my touchpad is a PS2 mouse. Very strange.
Its awesome that I get to have all my favorite programs, the OS is blazing fast, and I get roughly 5 hours of battery lifetime compared to the 2 hours in Windows 7 doing the exact same things.
Its a pity that the Linux flash player still sucks. Good thing Youtube provides a HTML5 video player. :-)
Now I can do C++ OpenGL game programming on Linux instead of Windows. :-)