The next version of Ubuntu has just been released. After much research and pre planning, I have decided to take the OS I am going to use in a new direction. Since the last version was based on 10.10, there was a lot more flexibility using Gnome 2. Subsequently, we have personally tried Ubuntu 12.04, Xubuntu and Lubuntu. The unity system is rigid and resource hungry, although it still alowed desktops to run high end software and even allows windows games to be run on WINE, the system demands too much from a lightweight laptop. As we now have more resources and more time to create a more customized and powerful OS and are planning to move forward to ultrabooks, Lubuntu 14.04 will be the next step. In my experience, Lubuntu will offer better long term use. The difference between the two desktop environments of Lubuntu (LXDE) and Xubuntu (Xfce) are few but significant. With lighter desktop environments becoming more functional, I am inclined to move ahead with LXDE just for the fact that it has a smaller carbon footprint and Xfce had some problems with my testers, albeit using the stock edition. If I have to heavily modify the stock, I would rather use Lubuntu which will allow more flexibility to maximize performance from a laptop. A good website for comparison can be found here.
Due to the heavy customization of Lubuntu, a planned list of software inclusions is posted on the software page.