Was playing around with the Ubuntu update manager and it now has a button to upgrade to 6.06 (Dapper Drake). So with just a few clicks and 800M later and I'm here. Quite a smooth upgrade, just need to install a few extra packages when you're done. Gnome is noticably smoother and some nice new features (like editing the menus and deskbar - very nice).
Only thing to get working is network manager again. Seem to have lost some audio codec support with gstreamer 0.10, though you can get better support using libxine I'll stick with gstreamer for now.
From the reviews/screenshots I've been seeing of Vista I think Microsoft is not making good progress. The rate of innovation seems a lot higher in Linux/Gnome and the fast release cycles is leaving MS in the dust. Vista seems to have mostly things that are matching the competition (composite window manager, applets, tabbed browsing) and added far too many user options (endless pop ups, dialogs etc). They really should have had the balls to remove a lot of fluff from their UIs as I think they peaked in usability in Windows 2000 (I'm always trying to find options in Windows nowadays).
I guess Apple will have some new innovation around the corner but for now they have the top polished GUI. Sneaky Apple...