What went well: I created a set of Restore DVDs (in case I want Windows back), then removed windows and installed Xubuntu 9.04 full-disk. Copied over my old
/home directory, and installed all my favorite apps. E-mail, web, games, .bashrc, most dektop settings, etc. transferred without a hiccup. Recreated my crontab. Wireless networking and video work great. Built-in card reader reads all cards from my cameras and phone. Machine is noticeably faster. FN-key brightness control works. FN-key multimedia controls work.
/etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.confsomwhat improved speakers and fixed the headphone jack.
# Added by me on <date> while troubleshooting audio options snd-hda-intel model=6stack
Unsolved Problems: No built-in webcam. Keyboard is different, and will take time to get used to - many typos in the meantime.