Linux Mint is fast becoming more than just Ubuntu with flair. I've read recently that a growing number of users are actually waiting for the next Mint release rather than adopting the latest and greatest from Ubuntu proper. I can't say I blame them.
Mint has consistently offered a polished user experience along with a handful of unique and useful applications. It does so without breaking compatibility with its parent, which is also nice. In fact, the Mint tools are supposedly available for regular Ubuntu now without modification.
I didn't expect to run into any major problems with Mint 8, and for the most part I wasn't disappointed.
On to the rant.