So, after a terrible experience on Ubuntu for my father, I've decided to just go buy him a Mac Mini. Firstly, before I pull out the credit card, the first thing I do is go to MacRumors and look up the last update date for the Mac Mini. Incidentally, the Mac Mini was last updated on October 2009. That said, I'll be holding off on my purchase for a while as Apple may be updating these machines sometime within the next few months.
After buying so many Apple products, I've come to realize that if you're going to buy any Apple hardware, you need to buy it ASAP after it comes out. I made the huge mistake of buying an Intel Core Duo Macbook a few years ago, receiving it, and then 4 days later Apple releases an Intel Core Duo 2 Macbook with a bigger hard-drive and a lower price tag.
It's okay though--Pudge (the name of my old Intel Core Duo Macbook) lasted for a good 3+ years until he passed away from an accidental swim in "diet coke".