Now that I am confident on the Fedora install I could afford to use my other partition and try Linux Mint 10 as suggested by a friend.
The out-of-the box visual experience was one of the best I had so far with a Linux distribution, the menu -mintmenu- seems highly inspired in MS Windows menus, from my reading it's a fork of the SLAB Menu, I really loved the easy navigation and search capability.
Linux Mint 10 is based and compatible with Ubuntu 10.10, the default configuration points to the linux mint repository plus the Ubuntu archives for the usual packages.
Besides the menu they provide their own set of tools, you can easily identify them with ls /usr/bin/mint*, some of them are just wrappers or tiny tools, but it shows they are working not only on cosmetics.
I did not find any documentation about their decision making process or governance in general, but I have sent an email asking for information.
They do care about community feedback, judging from the running poll .
There is a Debian based version (which I did not test yet), and it seems they will be deciding about switching to Debian for other flavors.
I will keep an eye on it, it may be a nice project to join.