No one can make the claim that Ubuntu isn't becoming the de facto Linux distro out there in the world today. Sadly, there is also a problem with watching Linux being tied to a single experience. Choice goes right out the window. So thankfully, despite Ubuntu's success, there are some fantastic alternatives out there that fit the needs of most people.
1) Simply Mepis is Simply Fabulous
I consider Simply Mepis to be among the first distro to get it "right" for people looking for a no-hassle, stable experience with a generally consistent environment from release to release.
At its core, Simply Mepis is created to make things easy to use right out of the box for any Linux skill level. Despite being a KDE-only distro based on Debian, Mepis allows the end user to setup their network, video configuration and other settings from the Simple Mepis "assistants."
This is handy when you want to switch from the NVIDIA NV driver to a proprietary driver instead, yet wish to do so safely from a GUI environment.