Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Ubuntu 10.10, codenamed Maverick Meerkat, is still two months from its final release. However, if the first alpha and the forecasts about it are an accurate indication, the release is already taking on a character all its own.
Specifically, Maverick may be the release in which the Ubuntu version of GNOME differs from generic GNOME to the point where it should be recognized as a separate desktop -- call it Ubuntu GNOME.
Of course, at this point, the character of the release could change. If you look at the blueprints for the release, you will notice that many features are incomplete, or still to be implemented at all.