Ubuntu 11.04 was a controversial release, and Ubuntu 11.10 didn't help much to improve the situation. With Precise Pangolin being a LTS release, hopefully things will improve.
Plans aren't set in stone yet, but the blueprints for Precise gives some hints on what the developers are looking into.
Boot speed improvements look to get some focus again. My fastest boot was with Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope. Of course, your mileage may vary. It all depends on your particular hardware setup.
Power consumption has gone up and hopefully things will improve in the LTS. Not sure what the developers could do if a lot of the regression is due to the kernel, but any improvement is welcome.
Despite going through two releases as the default desktop, Unity's still pretty inconsistent. There's little annoyances here and there that add up to a not-so-pleasant experience. With the move to Gnome 3 in Ubuntu 11.10 things just got worse. A focus on polishing the rough edges will definitely help a lot.
But as usual, there's a lot of blueprints. A lot of work needs done. And the list has an awful lot of server related blueprints. Blueprints don't necessarily get completed just because they get approved.
Here's to better Ubuntu.