Fedora vs. Ubuntu
With a short break between the classes, I decided to try to install Ubuntu and Fedora Core 9 on my laptop to compare the two...
On Vista laptop, Ubuntu does not resize windows partition automatically, and I had to use windows native utilities to do that. Other than that, install of Ubuntu went very quickly and ubuntu automajically configured the multi-boot environment (I am sure redhat would have done the same). Redhat initial install also was not very difficult, but took a lot longer ( a lot more staff is "bundled in" by default, so it is not an apple-to-apple comparison).
I found hardware support in Ubuntu and Fedora to be pretty much identical. Automatic configuration for some key hardware was fine, however, had to twick a little bit setup for sound card (in both distributions), and spent a bit of time trying to get wireless to work.
Trying to get some other, less common, hardware, such as second monitor or touch-screen on my tablet PC was more problematic.