Ubuntu Hardy: The latest and greatest or a total mess?

Ubuntu has become so popular, so quickly, that it is almost synonymous with the word "Linux". Common wisdom holds that it is the easiest to use, simplest, and most stable Linux based OS out there, and that is is the best hope for "Linux on the Desktop". This reputation is a well earned one, but after trying out the latest beta of Ubuntu Hardy, due out this April, I can't help but wonder if they are getting a little careless. More on this after the jump.

My laptop specs are as follows:

Dell Latitude 640
Pentium 4 @ 1.8 ghz
768 MB RAM
160 GB Western Digital IDE Hard Disk
ATI Radeon Mobility 7500
Intel 802.11b/g wireless
LITE-ON DVD-RW USB 2.0 drive

Ubuntu comes loaded with a spiffy update manager that is capable of cleanly upgrading to a new release, which intelligently removes conflicting or obsolete packages. It took about two and a half hours, but everything seemed to install intelligently and efficiently. I was pleased to find that none of my packages were broken, and I couldn't help but notice some cool new features.