I deleted the Linux root and swap partitions using the Gparter that comes up during Ubuntu installation, which is about the only thing I ever managed to get working the way it was supposed to. I used it to shrink my XP partition and created two new NTFS partitions: one for data and one for video (many non-linear editing programs recommend a dedicated partition). The data partition will make backups easier as well as simplifying the transition to Windows Vista.
After bulldozing Ubuntu I couldn’t boot – I’d get stuck at a Grub error maybe three seconds after powering up. So I slipped in the XP Recovery CD, hoping that I wouldn’t have to endure a full installation (and then the updates!). I went into recovery console, formatted my new partitions, then ran fixmbr which fixed up the boot sector and normalized things. And XP recognized my new partitions without issue.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that although it’s possible to do better than Windows, it’s really just a ton of work. The hardware manufacturers and Linux distributors still have a lot of work to do in making things usable, accessible, and intuitive. I should have had my hand held though the partitioning process and the default option certainly shouldn’t have been to reformat everything! =)
Anyway, I’ve got everything here working the way I want it to – my documents are saving in the right places, my settings are just so, etc.. so I guess I don’t really need to be using another operating system anyway.