As other have said re-installs and trial and error is everything to you in Ubuntu. Finding answers to your problems is really simple with a few Google searches, if not successful there, you can always ask for help here.
Installing Ubuntu,the best would be to make a separate /home partition as this will allow all you personal files and program settings to remain after clean install and all you will have to do is just re-install the programs.
Installing in Ubuntu is amazing by using the
sudo apt-get install 'program-name' command and if you don't like that you can always use the Software Center. A program like
aptoncd is good as it allows u to backup your downloaded programs in an iso files and if you want to re-install Ubuntu you don't need to re-download them because you already have them.
If you have more than 2gb ram then I recommend you installing the 64-bit version.
These are few important applications and repositories I keep for myself to install after a format:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
Sudo apt-get install winff
sudo apt-get install cheese
sudo apt-get install camorama
sudo apt-get install samba
sudo apt-get install gnome-do
sudo apt-get install p7zip
sudo apt-get install wine
sudo apt-get install vlc
sudo apt-get install openshot
sudo apt-get install skype
sudo apt-get install emesene
sudo apt-get install gimp
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
sudo apt-get install glipper / clipboard
sudo apt-get install furiusisomount
sudo apt-get install avidemux
sudo apt-get install audacity
sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 For playing encrypted DVDs.
sudo aptitude install googleearth
- For Ubuntu 32 bit : To be able to watch videos and see flash website in your Firefox you need to install flash plug in, Ubuntu software center and search word "flash"
Add mediabuntu top repository -- echo deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ karmic free non-free | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
verification key -- wget -q http://packages.medibuntu.org/medibuntu-key.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jimjimovich/starry-hope-uploader
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install starry-hope-uploader
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:loneowais/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gmailwatcher
sudo apt-get install build-essential checkinstall cdbs devscripts dh-make fakeroot libxml-parser-perl check avahi-daemon
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin equivs
sudo apt-get install unace rar unrar zip unzip p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils uudeview mpack lha arj cabextract file-roller
sudo apt-get install gparted ntfsprogs menu ntfs-config
sudo apt-get install --reinstall light-themes/lucid
And remember don't be afraid to experiment. in Ubuntu you will be reading a lot everyday and learning a lot more. But in the end its worth it trust me. Good luck