This is coming from an Ubuntu user.
I am very happy with Ubuntu thus far. It has been great, and I have had little problems with it. Though, with saying it, I did not mention that I do have problems, such as Google Chrome locking up on me and forcing me to restart my computer. This happens occasionally. Also, I really like the idea of a rolling release distro. I want to be on the cutting-edge rather than relying on Canonical to hand me updates to my OS. I realized this when Linus announced that Linux kernel 3.1-rc2 on Google+ this last weekend. I realized that Ubuntu wasn't even on Linux kernel 3.0 yet and probably won't be til October when the next Ubuntu version is released.
That being said, I really do like the look and feel of Unity, and the amount of support that Ubuntu gets. That would be my main hurdle for me. Being a Unity fan myself, I see Gnome-Shell the next best alternative. I heard that Gnome 3 is coming to LMDE soon through the Debian testing repos, and that's why I am looking heavily into LMDE.
Basically, what I want is a OS that has a great community behind it, a lot of developer support, easy to use, has a lot of ready and available applications to install, has to have a built-in messaging system (similar to Ubuntu's "Me Menu"), has to be stable, and cutting-edge technology. I asked this on a tech Q&A board, and most, if not all of them, recommended me to LMDE, which I myself knew about and was thinking about moving to for a while.
I have used Linux Mint in the past, Linux Mint 10, and I was very pleased with the ease of use and stability that it offered me. I made the jump back to Ubuntu for Natty Narwhal since I was extremely interested in Unity, and Linux Mint had no intention of moving to Gnome-Shell or even Gnome 3.
Basically, I want to know if LMDE has the functionality and ease of use of Ubuntu and the normal Linux Mint. I have played around with LMDE before, this was way before Unity, and I thought the overall experience wasn't as easy as normal Linux Mint. Did the Mint team fix this? And will I be able to gain access to some Ubuntu packages if I ever so pleased?
Thanks for reading and the input!
Linux Mint 12 KDE