Originally Posted by Arup
Ubuntu can be made into as hardcore as any other so called hardcore distros. In fact Ubuntu makes it easier to compile your own stuff, even for a relative novice, compiling nvidia driver, mplayer etc. (try installing nvidia driver on the Fedora 12 and you will see my point) is far easier than on so called veteran distros and when we talk about speed, performance etc. all the benchmarks done at Phoronix has broken the so called myth of a high performance self complied veteran distro and so called noob distro like Ubuntu. Every tests done there showed Ubuntu to be as quick as the other expert distros and the few it lagged behind, it was in insignificant numbers.
Phoronix benchmarks are hardly proof, it's just their version of benchmarking and their memory benchmarks of the Desktop Environments were laughable.
What they don't show is speed and responsiveness and a lot of people say the source distros are faster because they're compiled with optimisations and do 'feel' more responsive. Also with source base distros, you don't need to install devel packages .
As for your remark about Fedora and the NVIDIA driver. Fedora is a pure FOSS distro, only third party repos provide the NVIDIA driver, which you can easily setup). Ubuntu(Canonical) bend over backwards to make proprietary software more easier to install, Fedora don't but like other distros(openSUSE for example) provide repos for such software which are not supported by them.