You don't say us about your budget. But taking in consideration both my experience and needs for cheap bundles. I found that the Intel D410PT Desktop Board is one of the cheaper, affordable and incredible convenient bundle that fits the majority of your expectations with a little more benefits which makes of this bundle a really interesting investment.
Having in mind your checklist I can say that:
- Hassle free installation (I boot ubuntu, install it, and it's
working. I'm not required to patch any kernel, or installing
additional software). <== OK
- ACPI working out of the box. Including hibernation. <== OK
- Minimal on board GPU, working out of the box. To allow interfaces
like Unity/compiz. <== OK
- Goes without saying, networking and audio should work out of the
box. <== OK
- Dual core welded microprocessor
- Maintenance free.
- Low power consumption.
- As the heat sink features no fan, you won't ever experience
Further information can be reached on the Intel's website at: Intel D410PT Desktop Board
I am running ubuntu in several of these bundles with HDD installed OS and USB Live Sessions for both desktop and server editions without a hassle. However, this bundle may not reach the power-user needs for the day to day work, it is yet enough for common Home and Office tasks (web, mail, audio/video playing/editing/confrencing, printing, imaging, etc.)
There are several places where you may find such "official" information but for me, the experiences coming from other users are more valuable than what the developers says, they usually have access to hardware that I won't ever afford in my whole life.
In my experience, the majority of the Intel's does what you express in your list of requirements. But somehow I have experienced some issues when trying to set an arrangement of 6xSATA HDD+2xPATA HDD in my bundle, which leads to a major problem when installing, which is solved by installing with just a 1xPATA HDD plugged in, after which you can make any HDD arrangement as you wish.
I would say: Go for Intel's, even the cheaper (like this Intel D410PT) will fit your needs.
Unfortunately I can't say for an i3+ or AMD compatible with all about your requirements for an easy and without-hassle install. But in my experience with
The most I can say is something like my own bundle, the one that I am using at this very moment, which features an Intel DG965SS Desktop Board, which may be about to be discontinued indeed, with an Intel E6400 Core2Duo 2.13 Microprocessor (Microprocessors compatibility list can be reached clicking here). This mainboard also features one PCI-Express x1 and one PCI-Express x16 the same as two PCI slots. I am using this with 4GB RAM but it is capable up to 8GB using DDR667 Memory DIMMs.
Some pictures of my current bundle is here just to illustrate:
However, even when this bundle won't support i3+ Microprocessors, it is as easy to install as you mention on your list of requirements. Exactly as the Intel D410PT does.
I stopped using AMD's and ATI's (GPU) because of (in my experience and needs) they are far from such an "easy and hassle-free install". And I prefer for my bundles: Intel and nVidia's, which I strongly suggest to my friends/customers and colleagues.
The difference in cost it could be ridiculous compared with the benefits. Just for your consideration.
Good luck again!