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The devs have done great work to get Plymouth to work for more hardware than anyone else has.
The problem is that every patch (thousands over its lifespan) improves it for some hardware and makes it worse for others.
Some hardware has been improved clear out of the possibility of using this release.
As this is a LTS release this "improvement" is not a good thing.
Hopefully they will come to realise this and drop Plymouth soon.
I am a long time tester and upgraded to 10.04 when the tool chain went up.
The speed that they were aiming at looked very possible before the introduction of Plymouth. My boot speeds on this desktop were in the low 20s.
With the introduction of Plymouth the speeds became very varied. Some, even most, hardware does very nicely.
On my box 58 to 66 seconds is what it will do if I mess with the menu entry (remove "splash" add "nomodeset") on a good day.
On bad days it will take booting through recovery.
Shut down, on a good day, takes about 3 minutes. On a bad day, which is most days, it takes Alt+Sysrq+b to shut down at all.
10.10 does work some better.
As a long time user of Ubuntu it hurts me to say that I have switched to a better product, Debian Squeeze. This is what 10.04 was based on. It boots faster than 10.10 (low 30s for me). Better yet is shuts down.