I understand what you are saying, but i personally haven't experienced any slow programs apart from limewire because its java but thats slow to start in windows also, it could be because i use xubuntu rather than ubuntu and use preload to improve app start up.I've heard that from others as well. Let me try and be more specific. Ubuntu's actual "OS" and backend runs extremely well. The operating system itself runs great. But, programs, other than the ones I mentioned.. do not. Not saying they couldn't! They could probably run way better. I just think more time needs to go into "software" development. I know it's hard work and I am not criticizing anyone. Just what I have experienced.
Thats all you have to do in ubuntu as well, open up synaptic package manager - search for the app then click install.I'm prepared to be downrated for saying this, but you get what you pay for. Ubuntu is free, and you get all the little hiccups and inconveniences ('installing' a program shouldn't require extensive research) that come with it. Apple OSX is... well... Apple OSX. I don't think I need to elaborate much more. Then there's Windows 7, which I have recently fallen in love with because of its ease of use and functionality. If I want to install a program, I double click on the setup.exe file and wait. "Life, Simpler."
Just my off-topic $0.02.