My original plans to clean install Ubuntu last weekend got delayed by my sister's return. A PC busy playing videos can't be formatted after all :-P
So, this weekend I've managed to proceed with my plans and I'm now running 64bit Ubuntu. Sadly, the soft lockup issue is still present, though I find it's not as bad if I disable desktop effects aka Compiz. *sigh* Sad.
All the essentials are back up; codecs, quod libet, flash player, etc.
Here's hoping to for a better Jaunty experience in 6 months