I have a Voip line but I don't use Skype, works decent an it's cheap, so ... I know there are several different Voip phone programs for Ubuntu that offer a lot of cool tricks but I really haven't tried any of those either, tryin to stay with the KISS stuff. I do know the recent 9.10 has problems with Skype, though an installation of 8.04 or 8.10 should allow you to use Skype .... I think, so long as you don't take an upgrade to 9.10.
Though Ubuntu is constantly gettin more feature filled with each new release, it's still way streamlined in the way it runs compared to even XP, which yields performance for a big fat $0, my favorite price. If you stay with the 386/32bit versions you can do flash and even enable a nice touch (through firefox) that allows you to only enable the flash items on a page you choose to open, meaning sites with tons of that crap that would otherwise slow your surfin down as each page has to load and reload all that crap, you can get around a bit faster.
Audio/Video is important to me and thanks to fossil I can now go to one page on the web and get all the a/v codecs and such to play/watch any DVD (except Blu-Rays: ( and have the ability to then also copy 95% of DVDs to my HD, where I can then burn off discs that will play on any DVD player or in a DVD-ROM drive.
Rhythmbox has finally morphed into a nice music file player and supports .mp3, .aac, .ogg and the recent rage, .flac files. For video there's MoviePlayer, VLC, MPlayer or Xine and your video set up can also be tweaked any way you want with nVidia controls you can load easily.
You could also take a laptop runnin the above software with at least a 1 gig processor and 1/2 - 1gig of RAM, plop it down next to your nearest Flatscreen/Plasma/LCD/LED TV or monitor and a surround sound speaker set and drive it all with just 2 cables and a power cord.
Then if ya wanna get fancy, plug in a wireless bluetooth/USB keyboard/mouse set and ya gotta remote controlled computer A/V set up on the cheap. Fancier still is the FIRE remote for $100 that will replace the keyboard/mouse with a more familiar remote control with cool gyro functions.
With Open Office preloaded in Ubuntu it manages to do whatever I need except QuickBooks, so that's where the offline XP machine comes in handy.
Unless there are specific MS aps you need to run there's preciously little difference these days in goin with Ubuntu ... unless you just like doin the anti-virus shuffle, and runnin slower ... for more $$$.
I won't deny there's a learnin curve in runnin Ubuntu sometimes but I've also always been able to find just about anything I needed in forums and other communities to help slide over the crest of the hills.
I sure don't profess to be any kinda expert, though I've managed to pick up a few clues here an there and would be glad to help if you decide to take a look at Ubuntu again GAK