I just wanted to voice my opinions on art and Linux. I think one of the most appealing aspects LinuxMint has is it's artwork. Artwork and attention to detail are important when it comes to getting someone to try Linux.
The Mac OS developers obviously realized the importance of how their OS looked, it is one of the most imitated looks. Microsoft saw the need to improve in the area of art. Windows Vista does have some nice artwork, and is also being imitated.
I have seen many posts on the internet where people ask "Why does Gnome have two toolbars?" and "The icons look cartoonish.". Novell and LinuxMint are both bold enough to deal with the first problem. New user's, especially user's comming over from Windows have difficulty changing the toolbars and menus. The "Slab" style menu has style and functionality.
The "Slab Menu" helps to deal with the icons because they are presented in a more modern fashion.
I have noticed some distributions paying more attention to artwork. PCLinux completly overhauled their artwork and the distributions ranking and reviews clearly show it was a wise change. LinuxMint shows beyond any doubt that Gnome can look good and polished. "Out Of The Box" functionality is of course another strong factor!
My Wife worked with a guy that switched to Linux, he went with LinuxMint! The guy choose LinuxMint over Ubuntu because of it's functionality and genuinely enjoyed the look and feel.
I am running the latest beta of LinuxMint. I had been running Ubuntu Feisty. Multimedia was easy enough to get functional but the look just didn't turn any heads. I showed a friend my Ubuntu system and all it could do, he wasn't even mildly interested. I showed the same guy my LinuxMint install and he showed interest! This example illustrates the difference artwork can make.
I will get down off my soap box now. I just hope that LinuxMint continues to innovate in the field of art and Linux.