Every time I touch a Linux not installed by myself I got to the same feeling. Linux gives too much choices when installing a new operating system and the default options are good just if the only user of the machine is the administrator. If the guy installing the Linux does not have knowledge on what he is doing the result is a mess.
For instance, if you install a fresh Ubuntu you will get no man pages installed.
At the present moment I am in a Fedora 11 installed by a University administrator. If I type ‘cpan’ I get perl complaining about CPAN module not being installed. Then, what is the use of Perl in this situation?
These complains are from a geek, programmer, etc. I know that most desktop users will not have these needs. But I do not think it is a good idea to focus primarily desktop users. Probably the default option should be a sane environment for both worlds.