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I just tried Ubuntu 9.04 on my 1000HE, and I'm not impressed. Seeing all these gobbledygook suggestions ("try this driver and this mod and this patch") just proves to me, once again -- Windows may not be perfect, but it sure as hell is a lot less trouble in the long run.
Why is it that XP, which apparently sucks so horribly according to the Linux crowd, can simply get 20-40% more battery life with just a few driver installs? Why is it that to get Linux anywhere near this, it requires a huge expenditure of time, and then XP is still better?
And people say Linux is ready for the desktop. It's in the details -- and those have always been lacking. A new Ubuntu theme isn't going to make the real problems go away.
Assuming you like Linux as much as I do (which may or may not be true), I do recommend the following:
For now, use a stock Fedora 10 or 11. It will get you around 7 hours without fiddling. Keep XP around for dual-booting for those times when your really do need the maximum battery life.
For the long run, keep an eye on the Moblin project. This version of Linux gets closer to the same battery life as Windows does - around 8+ hours for me. It is just too unstable right now, but hopefully in a year or so it will be ready for prime time.