I’m testdriving the Release Candidate for the new Linux Mint (Gloria, or 7) at the moment, and it looks very, very good. This is more than just another Ubuntu with a different theme (although it looks much prettier than Ubuntu out of the box). Clement Lefebre, maintainer of Mint, really adds enough to make it a different distribution. Best of all, the things he adds are unique to Mint, and that’s why this distribution succeeds where others (and in my opinion) fail, like Xubuntu, or Kubuntu or one of the other Ubuntu-but-with-codecs distributions out there.
Mint offers its own menu (KDE devs, have a look at it), its own way of installing software, and about have a dozen other nify little tools which names that start with “mint”, and make the life of the computer user easier. Thought has gone into this, and it shows.
It’s about the opposite of my Arch install, which is my own baby, with only the parts I want an nothing else (and which is quite a bit faster, without making Mint a slouch), but it’s easily installed, easily used, it just works, and it looks great too (love the new theme, especially the wallpaper).
I may review the final version in full. We’ll see.