I have just installed Ubuntu 11.10 and checked for updates - it took about 15mB (very rough estimate) and 15min (on a uncapped ADSL line approx 30kB/s) just to see that I should download 7mB of updates. This is not something new, same thing when I add a PPA to install a tiny program - I have to wait 15-20 min just to install it.
And I have an uncapped Internet connection, what about users that doesn't have uncapped Internet? Why is it that everything else on Ubuntu is moving forward, this critical part is not progressing? The new Software Centre is great, but it is driving me insane that it is taking so long. Also the updating cache messages are misleading - it says downloading 2 of 3 files, then 4 of 6 files, eventually 80 of 113 files - it feels like my computer is lying to me, and I have no idea how long it is going to take to check for the updates!!!