It runs pretty well from the LiveCD on an iBook. I’ve got GAIM running, I’m connected to ISCA, it detected my airport flawlessly, I’m listening to Virgin Radio’s OGG stream, a little tweak in the prefs made the mousing all good… I just realized I have no idea how to right click or center click, but so far that hasn’t mattered… Fonts fairly ugly. GIMP and XSane work together out of the box — wow, working scanner out the box is more than I can say for OS X. Good gravy, it detected the Griffin iMic out of the box too, though I couldn’t figure out how to tell it to play music through it (the music player’s interface is rather spartan). But it appears as an option in the volume controller.
I’d love to see if my USB keyboard works with it out of the box, but I don’t think there’s any music playing software installed on the livecd, so I don’t know how I’d test it.
Sound recording doesn’t work out of the box.
OK, it looks like sound is still a bit of an iffy proposition, even on a very good distribution like Ubuntu.
Overall conclusion — It’s nice, I could deal with it if I decided I had to be there, but I think a short trip to Linux on the LiveCD did the job I intended it to do — convinced me that I like OS X just fine right now and want to go back to it. (While reassuring me that if I felt the need to bail for some reason, life wouldn’t be completely horrible using Linux on this thing.)
After I post this, I’ll see how sleeping and waking up works.