I was once a big fan of Ubuntu. Then I discovered Gentoo, and ended up learning a bit about setting up a desktop environment from scratch.
Despite rumours of a fall in package quality and of a decline in testing, people continue to use Ubuntu. I thought of jotting down some points here on why I feel this may be so:
1. bash command not found handler
2. Good desktop integration
This is almost as good as what OSX or Windows 7 have today by way of MIME type handling, file associations, etc.
3. Good collection of updated packages
The wide variety of packages help users understand and have confidence that they can do a wide variety of things with Ubuntu.
Other distributions (Linux, BSD-style) too have a variety of packages, but the public perception is that the Ubuntu package repositories are very much up to date, and that they have a wide variety of packages.
There are some other points that set Ubuntu apart. See
Some of these points can be fixed on Belenix and on other distros using technology, while others need a lot of perception management.
Update: Removed the Music label. The opensolaris planet was picking up the music label as the title of the post !