Ubuntu 11 (natty narwhal) makes a ton of things easier, in fact Linux never seemed so user friendly.
There are some unfortunate tweaks that make "normal user experience" better...
Auto Login can be enabled during installation or Power button in the upper right -> System Settings
System (section) -> Login Screen (you will have to unlock this with a super user pass) You can configure which user logs on automatically after how long
Network Manager makes wifi eaasy (including wpa, wpa2, etc.) Clicking on the wifi Network symbol (upper right) -> you should be able to choose an available wifi After setting it up to connect automatically...
wifi Network symbol -> Edit Connections ... Wireless Tab Highlight the connection (select the one displayed) -> Edit (requires super user password)
CHECKBOX = available for all users
reboot the computer
NOTE: When editing the connection the IPV4 settings allow Method = Automatic (DHCP) address only You can then specify a different DNS server (i.e. google's 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52)