After over a decade of WIndows, I have been using Ubuntu for 2 weeks now on my CL56, and I am happy to say that everything works so well now that I have entirely ditched windows. This guide, http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~krisvh/linux/cl56.html
(as well as this one, http://www.student.dtu.dk/~s971652/znote4200.html
) were invaluable. Specifically, I can watch dvd/divx moves, play mp3's, surf, do wordproccessing, and burn cd's. I havent tried any mojor gaming, but I know that it's possible without much work.
Today I installed the Kubuntu package (all you have to do is type 'sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop' from a console while connected to the internet). Let me tell you, I was expecting not to like it - IMHO the screen shots I found on the net didn't look to great and the simplicity of GNOME had me mesmerised. But was I in for a shock - KDE is so much better than GNOME in every way I can percieve. It seems faster to me, has better integrated programs and a better integrated interface, and most importantly is 100x more customisable than Windows, let alone GNOME. I am in love. I think Kubuntu is just unbelievable.
If anyone using a CL56 is intimidated about installing Kubuntu, let me assure you that it's super easy, imho especially if your installing it as a dual-boot with windows. Those 2 guides I mentioned are unbelievable (especially the first one because it gets updated much more frequently) and if anyone wants I am happy to help them out.
A quick note: Ubuntu and Kubuntu are completly identicle except for the Window Manager. And which window manager you have makes very little difference, as so far every program I have tried ran great in both. For example, while still running GNOME, I downloaded a bunch of kde programs and they ran with no problems at all. And if you still aren't sure which one you want, you can easily install both at the same time (you install ubuntu or kubuntu then go into the package manager, do a search for the other one and install the package - it's alot easier than it sounds).
Also, in regards to the discussing above, sorry about losing some security, but it is so much more practical to boot up in root. (By the way you can enable this in the GUI under Login Screen Setup - just click enable root login). Doing sudo's is fine for the terminal, but not being able to copy/move/delete files in the File Manager is just unacceptable. I for one have pretty much started logging in exclusivly as root. What would be ideal is if you could give yourself temporary root authority in the GUI. I did see there was a bit of a workaround by just adding gksudo in front of the run line in your links - I guess this may be the best of both worlds.