Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Based on Ubuntu 8.10, you might pass Linux Mint off as being yet another Ubuntu spin-off, though Mint has been around now for while (first release was on the 27th of August, 2006) and it's still a popular distribution, sitting in the number 3 spot on the Distrowatch page hit ranks.
It shares the same Ubuntu 8.10 repositories and can also benefit from Ubuntu's large user base for support as the majority of solutions will be applicable to Mint. So why use Mint? What are the benefits? Well, the main benefits are out of the box support for audio and video codecs, DVD playback and Firefox plug-ins. This was very important when Mint first hit the scene as Ubuntu didn't provide the user with painless codec installation or DVD playback. Mint provided users new to Linux or just users who preferred a good out of the box experience with a complete Linux distribution.
If you're currently an Ubuntu user you're probably wondering if this is still applicable as Ubuntu (since version 7.10, 8.04 and 8.10) provides a very good out of the box experience allowing for easy codec installation, DVD playback and enabling of proprietary graphics drivers. Well, this is the same thing I'm wondering, so I thought I'd put Mint 6 through it's paces.