10.04 LTS was a warning sign to me. The beta for 10.10 is simply more of the same.
Ubuntu has gone down a path that I can no longer classify as minimalist. Their desire for "social interaction" and integration of such has made their LiveCD about 50% made up of things I simply don't need (as opposed to Fedora, who can barely fit everything on their disc).
Three viable options:
-Use Ubuntu from the alternative disc, install a minimal version, and build from the ground up. This is nice, except that if I'm going to do that work I might as well use Debian.
-Install Ubuntu and uninstall half of the programs (Ubuntu One, that Twitter thing, the Ubuntu music store, etc). This still leaves a lot of libraries sitting around, unused.
What I find interesting is that the Debian 6.0 testing release most reminds me, not of Debian 5.0 or 4.0 (though it does, of course), but of Ubuntu 8.04, which I still consider a desktop unmatched anywhere else in the Linux world. If it worked with my Wi-fi I'd be using it. But alas.
But Ubuntu used to fight bloat, and make a polished desktop that didn't have all that social junk and ugly desktop design running. It used to be a tweaked Gnome desktop designed for usability and customization, and it ran well and looked great and simple. Since then the Ubuntu desktop has become large, bloated and slow. Heck, the desktop became a Mac OS X rip-off with a fat pimple. This is a serious shame for me, because I liked the path Ubuntu had chosen with 8.04.
I'm not blaming Ubuntu, I'm only shaking my head at how my priorities no longer match up with Ubuntu. But it's certainly healthy to realize this, and to move on to something that works for my needs (like Debian).
I'm also not saying that if you use Ubuntu, you're not minimalist. Of course you can be, with effort. Maybe your definition of minimalism is what Ubuntu offers out of the box. I'm just talking about myself here.
If you play video games at all. try out Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It works in Linux, costs $20, and is designed to be minimal yet affecting. I tried the demo and nearly pooped my pants it was so scary.