Yeah that sounds like a hellish experience. Do you have any reason to run the 64-bit Ubuntu?
I have a MacBook Pro and an Athlon X2 desktop, and a Celeron D media PC, and they are all running 32-bit since yeah, a lot more stuff runs out of the box with it, and I don't have more than 4GB RAM on any of those. I don't think there's any point in running the 64-bit version yet, it's mainly there so developers have a reference to work against. As with most open source projects, when there's a need, it'll get done.
Wireless didn't work until recently on my MacBook Pro so I just used a USB wireless adapter I had and it worked. Now it's not a problem. I used to have to manually compile a driver for my acx100 but now it's in the kernel, and that version works like a charm because the distribution has it all pre-configured, whereas I had to tweak the settings for the one I compiled.
I feel your pain on compiling programs and shit and getting it to work right, it's pretty much hit or miss, if you have to deviate from the README then it's a real pain. For commercial apps like Citrix, LSB will be in place to provide a default set of libraries developers can expect to be there as long as the distribution is LSB compliant. More and more distributions are working towards that and when that goal is met, a lot of commercial applications will start working really well. Some do now, such as VMWare, CrossOver, and everything Google puts out, but it's more difficult to get right as things are now.
I guess if you want to run Linux that badly, you'll find a way, but when it works it's brilliant.
There are drivers for almost everything, and they don't require you to have the original driver installed from CD in order to update, they don't install companion programs and annoying preference applets and systray notifications or custom update mechanisms. I can plug my hard drive into another computer and it'll load up fine without warning me about all these driver changes and hardware detection.
Application installs are easier and every install is the same, applications don't try and hijack your system or install spyware or talk back to servers, they don't have "pro" versions you have to upgrade to, they don't bother you if you're running an older version or require you to change the date to install, they work with most or all file formats and don't try and invent their own to push their own proprietary format, it's easier to convert stuff to get it into your preferred application, usually applications don't have their own custom skin and UI set (there are exceptions, such as Blender and xmms), you don't have to worry about product activation or registration nags.
I don't need to use the command line to set up anything, even on a fresh install. Yeah, howtos usually have things to paste into the console, but I guess that's because it's just one step as opposed to clicking around everywhere. It's a lot better than how things used to be at any rate, and if you consider how far Linux has come in such a short time compared to Windows, it will definitely get better. Now it's easy to get to the desktop and do daily things such as web browsing, email, word processing, etc. A couple of years ago it was pretty uncommon for so many users to be even installing Linux at all. With more desktop users, things will improve quickly in that area.