I'm not trying to be difficult, ... but the fact remains that everything is NOT working correctly. The problem is not the graphics chipset on 1004. That part's actually working well. The probkem is other things.
I actually have been using a base Kubuntu install (not a Ubuntu one and then converting, as I said I believe should work, provided you don't go crazy with the other packages). Problem is that when I get a decent LMCE install (a crap-shoot, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't), some little thing is broken (such as; the sound being muted and no good way to turn it back on, or me making a bone headed decision about the attached external drives, and no good way to fix it). Kubuntu is not as good as the Ubuntu install when it comes to setting up hardware. After Kubuntu is installed, my server system comes up with the sound muted. If I unmute the muted channels prior to installing LinuxMCE, the sound plays. But half the time the install borks for some other unknown reason.
As far as the "recommended" hardware, it is not always easy to get a system built with those specs,... or to switch one over to meet those specs... And let's face it, there is no good "required specs" list in the wiki or the website describing what is needed (maybe some paragraphs explaining it, but no good list)... And (under 1004) the advantage of an (older) nVidia graphics chipset over a relatively recent Intel chipset is negligible. If the base OS can use it fine, then LinuxMCE should too. I've never had problems with playback of video over an Intel chipset (at least since the Intel drivers have been stable), and the Intel drivers do handle some (limited at the very least) acceleration very well (Compiz, or native compositing, etc). From what I can see from playing around with the core,... the Intel chipsets handle LinuxMCE video playback and the interface just fine under 1004.
One big issue is sound. There should be a sound mixer available, at least under the "Programs" or "Advanced," even if it were ASCII only. There seems to be no good place to adjust sound channels in the system. If the sound channels are mis-mapped, the only way you are going to know is to have played a video or audio prior to running the LinuxMCE install. Without a mixer, a DVD installer would be no good for someone in that situation.
Now this next part,... Keep in mind that I have read the install script, so I know that there's a lot going on, that makes it not so simple,... and I mean this in the spirit of constructive criticism, ... but,...
One of the major problems I seem to be seeing is the package management (and package building) under LinuxMCE. If a LinuxMCE package is being used to replace a "normal" package, it should be versioned so that it "trumps" the old package and is seen as the latest (an "updated" package). I think there wouldn't be as much breakage if that were done correctly. I understand there will be bugs, especially while development is going on, ... But it seems that package conflicts are the "rule" in LinuxMCE rather than the exception.
If I install the modified "Pluto" version of a package, the old package should be uninstalled as part of the process, not requiring me to do it manually. And everything that is required for a basic install should be covered by a "Meta" package, installing by default all the necessary components and uninstalling the conflicting packages (and maybe that package should contain the install script, debs don't have to be just for binaries). It doesn't seem like that is happening. Or maybe it is, and there's just a ton of things falling through the cracks. Ubuntu personal PPAs (generally) work that way, even when there's a package that needs to be compiled (using DKMS, for example).
I brought up as a feature request, on that sub-forum, to flesh out the meta-data of the packages. I strongly suggest doing that,... And also, I suggest that if it is done, it's done in a separate repository from the current, and make sure it checks out before making it "Live."
The bottom line is that LinuxMCE is so very powerful, feature rich, relatively inexpensive and provides so many features that it should be the dominant multimedia center solution. That XBMC seems to dominate baffles me. The LinuxMCE developers should all be extremely proud of themselves, and with good reason. But it is so complicated to set up that even Linux "gurus" have difficulty setting it up. Linux network and system configuration is obscure enough that even LinuxMCE packaging were made easier, there would still be a market for installers and system builders. So job security through obscurity is not a real factor.
I have enough Linux experience over the last decade to solve my problems (with a little help). I just have to experiment and play with it a little more. But I would like to see this project/distro flourish. That opens up opportunities for developers, system builders, the project for more features, etc., etc. ad nausium,... The DVD install is a good idea, but I don't think it's enough. There needs to be more organization of the packages.
I'm willing to do what I can to help, but I am no coder. I can, however, help by "lifting" the metadata from the standard Ubuntu repositories and make it available as text for easy cut and paste editing into the LinuxMCE repositories. I can also try to build a database of conflicting packages to help developers improve the package repositories, and to help users understand why something doesn't or can't work. So, I'm not just leveling criticism here, I'm willing to help...