I just wanted to share my experience with the Live CD, since I see a lot of folks having similar problems. I had had Mint 4.0 installed on my desktop machine for only about a month before 5.0 came out. The 4.0 install went just fine and it was running great on that box. So, I decided I would upgrade it to Elyssa. So, I downloaded the Linux Mint 5 Elyssa R1 (Revision 1) live CD and burned it onto a Memorex 24X CD-RW disc. (The md5sum was good on the ISO.) I could not get this disc to do a complete boot up. Sometimes it would fail with SQUASHFS errors, and sometimes it would just not even boot into the GRUB menu. I even tried all of the tips in the "Troubleshooting your Live CD" post, nothing worked. Then, just on a wild thought I decided to burn the ISO to another disc. This time I used a HP 12X CD-RW disc. I put the new disc into the same computer, rebooted, and Bingo, it booted up into Elyssa! So, from there I went on to upgrade my desktop to Elyssa and I installed Elyssa on my Lenovo R61i notebook also. Both are running splendidly, after all updates have been installed. So, if you're having problems booting the Live CD, it just might be your media. I hope this helps someone.
As for LinuxMint, so far I think it's wonderful. Bear in mind I've only used Elyssa for a few hours now, so I might have other issues later on, but I hope not. My one main concern is that Mint will inherit bugs from the upstream source, Ubuntu. If there isn't, Mint should have a testing branch, of sorts, where inherited packages are wrung out before they are shipped out to Mint. Sorry if there already is, I know very little about Mint so far, I'm just sharing my thoughts here.
Anyway, I hope my experience will help somebody else.