Having seen this blog post on Techtonic - Five must have apps for a new linux install, i thought I would share my five essential Linux apps list. these are just off the top of my head, there are so many other great programs out there, only an 'apt-get install' away!
Essential for connecting to wireless networks with my Ralink rt61 PCI card, which only seems to work with KDE's network manager on the first boot.
Although I prefer the Gnome desktop over KDE these days, I can't do without my favourite media player! I've tried others but always return to Amarok. Rhythmbox is improving but is slow with my large (13000+) mp3 collection. Helix Banshee is hideous and XMMS lacks a collection manager. I love Amarok's cover manager, it's ease of use and extensibility with scripts, and it looks great too. OK it can be a little heavy on resources, though I think the developers are working on that for version 2.0 which I look forward to as it'll be ported to Windows and Mac OSX too!
It is the best burning program for Linux in my humble opinion! It has more features than any of the other Linux burners I've tried - especially volume normalisation with the Normalize package installed. I also like it's integration with Amarok, so I can easily send albums and playlists to K3B.
I like totem the default video player on Gnome, it's clean and easy, but I've found that kaffeine has better support for FLV, and has greater control over playing (fast forward etc).
My favourite CD ripping program on Linux, because I found it easy to setup, and is close to what I was use to with CDex on windows.
All the programs I've mentioned are available through the Ubuntu's repositories. I try to avoid a reinstall at all, as it would take a long time to download everything, on my slow connection, and to get everything setup just right. Like most i want as little downtime as possible, which is a distinct advantage of Linux over windows.