According to Brian Lunduke, Ubuntu 9.10 is almost perfect, and I concur.
Being a bit of a purist, I ran Debian for very many years but found their stable releases lagging behind far too much. This was largely due to their perfectly understandable view of it being ready only when it is right.
For a while, I ran their unstable distribution called Sid, based on the disturbed, hyperactive 10 year old boy in the film Toy Story. The idea being that Sid breaks things, and it certainly did. While it taught me a heck of a lot about linux (and the terminal), my computer was broken on a very regular basis.