I thought I would type a little more now that I have had a chance to work a bit longer with Mandriva 2010. I want to try and keep it short this time!
My thoughts on the startup and shutdown processes have not changed. I believe they lack the progress I was expecting from them. The startup bit was a disappointment, as it is far from the smooth feeling they had been "advertising". The KDM login screen looks horrible, obsolete and amateur. I know most of these things can be tweaked or changed, but I was honestly expecting a lot more from this release on this subject. To be honest, Fedora 11 was already a very good example of the kind of smooth startup process Mandriva was going after, and that's what I was hoping to see on Mandriva 2010, only I guess we will need to wait a bit longer.
The overall experience on the desktop is OK. No more, no less. It is somewhat faster than 2009.1, but don't expect any radical improvement. Most of the system control applications that were there in previous releases return unchanged (at least I haven't noticed any change, so they must be subtle if they are there).
Once again, I was disappointed by the wireless network detection issue (read previous article). Sometimes you see people complain about new releases, when they are upgrading from a release 2 or 3 years old, and using a piece of hardware that is very obsolete. You can only think there was a big risk it went wrong... However, in my particular case, this was a machine that had no issues with Mandriva 2009.1, and it is barely two years old, so...
If anything, most of the enhancements that caught my attention are down to the work the KDE project is putting together. KDE 4.3.2 is a very nice step forward, definitely in the right direction. I am eager to see what 4.3.3 looks like, and very excited about 4.4...!
All in all, I would recommend those using Mandriva 2009 to stick to their current versions. Upgrading involves a risk, and there is not much to be gained from this release. If your only driver is getting your hands on new versions of applications or even on KDE 4.3.2, you can always do that from your current version, no need for upgrading.
In hindsight, I recall that Mandriva 2009 spring was quite an improvement on 2009, so perhaps it is 2010 spring that we should still wait for. I will probably stick to Fedora 12 Constatine, though.