Even after more than a month, the Ubuntu Linux CDs that I requested did not arrive. But that did not deter me from trying it. After dropping plans to download Ubuntu, I found a person in the local LUG who could lend me his copy (thanks Praveen!).
So I finally installed it last week. The quick installation without any package selection did not surprise me. I was prepared for it. But what really took me by surprise was the very limited packages that came on the CD. Well, one CD can hold only that much and selected packages where quite right for a novice desktop system.
Ubuntu has alien installed by default and it save my day. I was able to install mplayer, xmms and TeX from the Redhat 9.0 CD.
I wish the Ubuntu team all the success.