Is Ubuntu Really the Most User Friendly Distribution?

For several years, Ubuntu has been synonymous with user-friendliness. A Web search quickly unearths dozens of articles that suggest that Ubuntu is the distribution you should give non-technical people to introduce them to GNU/Linux. It even won a "Most User-Friendly Linux Distribution" award, which you might think confirms its status.

However, like all conventional wisdom, this association is worth exploring. For one thing, you have to wonder whether comparisons for user-friendliness have any relevance in free and open source software (FOSS). For another, what exactly are the characteristics of user-friendliness? Moreover, does stressing user-friendliness mean ignoring other values -- perhaps equally important ones?