The only gripe I have with Ubuntu is a tool like Yast, and Sax. Those two would be high on my wish list.
They are working on that.... but their solution is nowhere near as good or as slick as YAST. Ubuntu also does some odd things with where some things end up. Like the web server ends up placing everything in /var/www instead of /srv/www (maybe that is just my familiarity with SUSE's oddities there though).
When people ask me, I usually say that if they want a simple desktop, Ubuntu works fine. If they want to run a MySQL database, run a webserver etc etc in addition to the desktop, then openSUSE wins by a few light years despite it's warty bits. :-)
The article that started this thread makes a lot of really good points. While a lot of the problems the author got himself into were a product of his own tinkering, those problems are very real. I see a lot of the same kinds of dufficulties when I am helping newbie users install their very first openSUSE. I don't run into those problems (or at least am not so bothered by them) because I have been using SUSE since 6.0. I'm used to the warts. I do hope that the comments made in the article are taken to heart and at least some of the problems attended to in the next release or two. Some of those problems have been around since forever.