Final as in 'non release candidate', obviously there will be versions like 1.0.1 and so on.
What's new: Support for HD and other new formats, finer speed controls, customizable toolbars, AirTunes streaming, and much more.
On top of new features, this 1.0 release has been, as software types would expect, given a serious bug scrubbing and annoyance reworking. Obsessive-compulsive playback types will appreciate the better live recording, instant pausing, and finer-grained playback speed controls, while those working in non-common formats may find VLC's newfound support for AES3, Blu-Ray Linear PCM, Raw Dirac, and other expensive-sounding codecs enticing.
For Ubuntu, Arch Linux and Fedora installation instructions, read on.