Heh well Im sorry you feel that it takes a lot to figure out... Ill try to explain some of it, what many of us in linux forget is how to explain it so those not used to it learn what they are dealing with...
Root is your administrator account. In any serious computer environment you wouldnt use this much. In Ubuntu and linux you have the option os using Sudo to run a single command as root, and that is what many people were referring to. It is a better security practice in general than ANYTHING you will find on windows.
In as far as Audio, drivers etc...
Heh well others are correct in that it often involves the kernel, in Ubuntu it is relatively easier than it sounds thanks to apt and synaptic. apt is a software package that allows you to locate and download and install automaticly a LOT of software off the internet. For instance I will use audio drivers for an example...
Normally you would have to recompile your kernel, however Ubuntu is set up so you dont have to. Most modern cards need the ALSA drivers (Www.alsa-project.org
) to work. In ubuntu you would simply issue an apt command to fetch these and isntall them and it would take care of the rest normally, including, fetching installing, loading modules anmd all the other stuff most people may not know how to do.
Synaptic is a graphical front end for APT. Meaning all it does is converts the text based APT system into an easier to understand Graphical system, making it so you dont need to remember the commands to install anything, you search through its software database for what you are looking for, click on it and click install. Then you let Ubuntu and apt do their work without you having to worry about it.
DVDs are another beast though unfortunatly and always take a bit of work. The reason is legally they arent allowed to ship the DVDCSS libraries with the software I dont believe so that always has to be downloaded seperately. The CSS libraries are what decrypts DVDs so you can watch them.
Battery life you would have to be a little more specific, do you mean it ALWAYS shows that or just happened to at that time and you think that it is off? Usually you have to tweak your power settings by hand, throttling and such. You have much more control over this than in Windows or a Mac but unfortuantly that also means that it can be a bit tougher to set up to your liking at times.
If you decide to give it another shot feel free to post back and we can try to help you through it.