Downloaded and installed the latest version of Ubuntu, 6.10 - Edgy Eft. The ISO is a combination Live CD and installation CD, it loads up the Live CD first and offers an option to install.
Installation is pretty much the same as the procedure listed in the Apress book, "Beginning Ubuntu Linux". After installation, there were a lot of updates to download and install.
Ubuntu comes internet-ready, provided one has an active connection. Firefox is available and browsing can be done after installation.
Playing media files, music and video, however means downloading and installing codecs. The Apress book has a section on it, also there is a unofficial Wiki guide that lists a lot of how-to stuff, including codec installation. Following the guide requires one to be familiar with the command prompt though.
NTFS drives can be mounted to the filesystem in a read-only capacity. One would need to use FAT drives to share data between Windows and Linux.
The GUI offers more than enough configuration managers that the command prompt can be ignored for the basic user.