Downloaded Linux Mint 7, Gloria, and booted it on europa. Ran some quick tests and found it to be solid, as solid as Linux Mint 5 and 6. It's amazing it runs as well as it does directly off the Live CD; Flash, DVD playback, MP3, AVI, and MOV playback are but a few of the working features of Gloria. One regression I found concerns playback of a MP4 file I ripped using VLC under Ubuntu 7.10. It has played without issue up until this release. Another regression occurs when running glxgears. While there appears to be excellent performance, the OpenGL canvas that is the center of the application does not stay integrated with the window decoration on the desktop. Dragging glxgears around the desktop leaves copies of the canvas where the application was dragged from. This isn't an issue with Linux Mint so much as it's an issue with the current AMD/ATI video driver.
I'm disappointed to find those regressions, but those are not show stoppers. For the limited use to which I'll put this distribution and this release I can certainly afford to ignore them. Besides, the initial selection of wallpaper, fonts, desktop theme, and the use of the Gnome menu slab are just about perfect. There's nothing forcing me to twiddle with the desktop. I even appreciate the fact there's only one panel along the bottom.
Other features that were enabled from the Live CD appear to be cover flow application select (Alt Tab), as well as the nice showing of the desktops when pressing WinKey E (see below).
I feel sorry in a way for the Linux Mint team. It looks like they've taken on the thankless task of cleaning up Ubuntu so that it runs the way the Ubuntu team would like to think their release runs. I know it's not polite to say this, but an alternate slogan might be "Linux Mint - the way Ubuntu was meant to be." Or perhaps that's already out there and I just haven't seen it yet.
Whatever. It works. Thanks guys, I certainly appreciate it.