Ubuntu "just works." That is Canonical's slogan for why Ubuntu is better than other distributions.
I tell you now, it's all lies. Usually when a new version of Ubuntu comes out I have to wrestle with it for a week. I still don't have my printer working yet, and the new Nvidia drivers have a glitch that makes things appear a little weird with Compiz Fusion on. Then on my other computer, the wireless still only works once in a while.
Not everything works right away. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won't. Perhaps they're being selective about this, installing it on hardware they know will work out of the box, and then saying "oh look, it works out of the box!" Sounds like a Microsoft salesman to me.
Even if everything does work right away, what do you have? Ubuntu at first glance is not very impressive. The grey blocks with the orange and brown everywhere really looks like garbage. From what I've seen, most people change the theme if they can. So if most people are changing the theme, shouldn't this give you a hint that your theme sucks? At least put some eye candy on the default theme, like Mac and Windows do. They seem to understand that outside of geek-land, aesthetics play a huge part in people's judgement of quality.
First impressions are everything. Give Intrepid (the next version of Ubuntu) an overhaul before too many first impressions are made.