A couple of weeks ago I installed Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) on this laptop.
It wasn’t without problems as the ATI video card seemed to object. I tried the two drivers suggested by Mint and neither worked. It either reverted to a basic GNOME desktop or else presented me with a screen where have the text was randomly missing or pop up windows had their contents screwed up. In the end I removed all the drivers and for some reason it then worked perfectly.
Since then, I have installed it on two other machines. The first of those again gave some problems [using a Nvidia card] but once again adding and then removing the drivers seemed to cure the problem. The third machine [an ATI card] installed perfectly first time without touching the suggested drivers.
My original intention was to run Lisa using the MATE desktop which carries the old Mint Menu. However, to my surprise I like the new GNOME 3 interface. It took a couple of days to get used to but I am happy with it now, even though I still try to check the time at the bottom right corner of the screen.
There are a couple of very small niggles that annoy me. One is the lack of any apparent method to customise the top and bottom bars. For example, it would be nice to be able to increase their height to make the icons a little bigger and more visible. There seems to be a general lack of right-click options which is frustrating at times as it means a trip around the houses to find some functions.
One feature I missed straight away was the ability to edit the menus. In the end I installed Alacarte. Problem solved.
Generally speaking though, I am happy with 12. A tip of the cap to the crowd in Mint!