PCLinuxOS Gnome edition: An excellent alternative to Ubuntu
PCLinuxOS has been called "The distro hopper stopper", and we can see why. System configuration tasks are handled by a rebranded version of the venerable HardDrake suite. All of our hardware was detected without user intervention, and we were on the local wifi in no time. Codecs are included out of the box as well, saving a lot of potential headaches. libdvdcss is included in the default repository, and we installed it with a click.
Something else that is worth mentioning is the package manager. PCLinuxOS is based on the RPM standard due to its Mandriva pedigree, but it uses the Synaptic Package Manager that Ubuntu and Debian users have come to enjoy. We found all package operations to be prompt and efficient, just as good as a DEB based system.
No review should be based on the first few hours, so expect a full report in a few days. Until then, feel free to try it out for yourself if you are impatient.