Hi, have you tried ubuntu 9.04 or 9.10 or 10.04.All these versions of ubuntu are superfast.
I have tried them. (on my test server) And they aren't as fast as arch linux. Ubuntu 10.04 is very slow compared to most other linux distributions actually. (slackware, puppy, etc) I've been using linux for a very long time and first tried out ubuntu when it was version 5 (the second release)
Also upgrading is easy in ubuntu too.For upgrading from 10.04 to 10.10 you only need to have alternative install cd of 10.10 or you can upgrade using update manager.
Upgrading is supposed to be easy, but in practice its very buggy and unstable.
How to be up to date in arch linux, no matter how long ago you last updated:
Now the system has the very latest stable version of all libraries, kernels and packages. And the computer didn't crash as a consequence of the upgrade/update. Arch linux is rolling release. That means it is always the latest and most up to date and consequently more secure and featurefull. (bsd also has this model) No waiting for Release candidates.
I have learnt one thing from my experience that bugs are not due to the distribution but they are due to the embedded softwares used.
You mean hardware drivers? The only reason ubuntu has problems with hardware devices is because the auto hardware detection isn't always right or optimized, as you found out with your bluetooth device. Its a works for most, not for all system. Good enough if all you do is browse the web and chat online. But not if you want to do graphics or audio editing or other more hardware specific tasks.
Another problem with auto-detection:
For auto-detection to work, you have to have drivers installed on the system from many many different vendors, whether the hardware is connected to your computer or not. This uses up a ton of space on the harddrive and increases boot time. (you can go in and delete all this stuff, but if someone doesn't know what they are doing , they could bork their system)
The other problem with ubuntu is that if you do try to configure things manually, (as I would prefer to do) you cannot because the configuration files have all been changed, hidden or deleted or the configurations are automatically created during boot. I myself would perfer to use a system like Arch linux which allows the use of graphical configuration OR the editing of text files to configure the system.
BUT if you need further proof of Ubuntu's problems, just look at their release notes. Each release lists 40+ bugs. Thats not normal for a linux operating system. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LucidLynx/ReleaseNotes
Ubuntu is fine for windows users and people who don't know much about Linux and don't have the time to sit down and configure a computer. But its very far from the best all purpose Linux distribution. There's a reason most college programing labs and companies use red hat or centos.
Ubuntu does have some innovative ideas, but unless they get their bugs under control I can't use it as anything other than a testing system. http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7600
If ubuntu works for you thats great. But I prefer other Linux distributions.