I understand that Lubuntu utilizes LXDE over Ubuntu's Unity(Gnome?); But being new to Linux I'm not sure if that change is going to be simply cosmetic, or if there will be functional differences I need to be aware of. The Ubuntu wiki says no, but it is also seems to be a very superficial discussion. I am comfortable(ish) with the command line and I suppose my question is more directed in that direction, but any information would be great.
As Ubuntu wiki says:
The default applications differ. For example, Lubuntu comes with Sylpheed instead of Thunderbird. But you can manually install whatever you need because the repositories are the same.
Anything you do on the command-line will likely be the same, except that some applications may not be installed by default or you may need to edit slightly. For example, Gnome's