This is not specific to Ubuntu, but since Ubuntu is based off Linux, it gets the flak too. Ubuntu does provide a little thing that gives hardware information, but unfortunately it's a bitch to navigate, and when you finally find the device you're looking for, it probably won't have the information you're looking for (like what driver the device is using).
One of the golden rules I've learned of Linux is: if it's only semi-broken (working by Linux-geek standards) then don't try to fix it, you'll only make it more broken. Today I tried to fix my sound. The surround sound and everything works already, but I want to get the headphone jack at the front of the tower working. Even better, it would mute the speakers while the headphones are plugged in. I haven't tested it under Windows yet, so I don't know if it's a hardware thing or not. Anyway, I found a nice post on Ubuntu Forums that apparently made it work. So I followed what it said, but ended up borking the entire sound system. The system didn't even detect my sound card anymore (weird, since it detected it when I put in the LiveCD). Oh well. I eventually had to reinstall the drivers by hand from the alsa source - not cool. This got me back to square one, with the sound actually working but no headphone support. I've decided not to touch anything anymore. I think it's funny that Ubuntu works so much on next-to-useless things like Tracker and Compiz Fusion but when it comes to important things like device management or office software, it is sorely lacking. Times like these make me miss Windows.