I'm using the base Ubuntu at my new house and it is very nice. Bootup time (past POST) is in seconds and login is also a second. They really speed things up and the bigger change is the KMS which means no resolution switching craziness and such. The monitor won't flicker on bootup. There's more cool stuff going on, but most of it you don't notice since it is the backend.
2014 is going to be a good year. More content, more streamlining. Be a part of history!