Yesterday I installed Linux Mint 12, almost officially the world's most popular Linux distro, made easy for simpletons such as myself. I was swayed by ZDNet contributor Jamie Watson, as he has detailed the progress of Linux Mint 12 thoroughly.
It's kind of based on Ubuntu 11.10 'Oneiric Ocelot', with the main distinction being the inclusion of GNOME 3 and the beautifully crafted bridging of old and new features using Mint GNOME Shell Extensions. As they say themselves "It’s a brand new desktop but with traditional components."
The installation was a breeze. The biggest problem has been my own stupidity -- I have been smugly backing up regularly for months, using a lovely piece of software called Grsync. However, a backup is only as good as the restoration. I never tested to see if my backups were working, and they weren't. Oops.
Luckily most of my work is online or in my head.
I've also had to adapt a bit as well: with great sadness I've stopped using GNOME Do as GNOME 3 has a built-in quick launcher, activated with the Windows key. This is a combination of the Mac Exposé), favourites and search input.
The GNOME 3 quick launcher expose-type screen
Overall though, I am pretty impressed. There are some occasional graphics artefacts but the system as a whole does feel more responsive and, as with Ubuntu, things just work, particularly VLC and the evil Flash plugin.
If you do use the sublime Sublime text editor, a proprietary license but cross-platform and TextMate compatible, then Andrew at Web Upd8 has created a PPA so that you can add the PPA and install Sublime using a software manager.