Phoronix: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Has 100 Paper Cuts Again
Started during the Ubuntu 9.10 development cycle was an Ubuntu project to address paper cuts in Ubuntu, or rather small usability bugs in Ubuntu and the Linux desktop that are often only minor impairments or annoyances, but these easy-to-fix issues have never been heavily targeted for correction. These "paper cuts" are often spotted by new Linux users but frequently go unnoticed to those that have been using the Linux desktop for a while and are accustomed to its shortcomings...
Just recently, to get rid of install CD bloat. Most people don't need Gimp much less bother themselves with learning how to use it when they find the menus and tools weren't copied straight from Photoshop.
You can still install it from the package manager - I know I always will.
Yes. Just look at the dev comments on the bug reports.
However, note that those fixes are usually simple configuration changes that do not make sense to upstream in many cases. For example, Karmic included paper cuts for Compiz animation/UI settings, default plugins and other similar stuff, which fall squarely into the distro's area of responsibility rather than upstream's.
It may not look like it, but these 'fixes' actually make a real difference. The Compiz fixes I mentioned above have reduced my Karmic setup time by about 1/3 in comparison to Jaunty (yes I time myself and yes I install distros often enough that it makes a difference, thanks for asking :P). I no longer need to install compizconfig-settings-manager and wade through its settings (or copy my settings over from a different installation) and this is a big win in my eyes.
It's stuff like this that makes Ubuntu a much smoother experience compared to most other distros.