> > and develops a _very_ popular distro.
> I think we've established that they mostly market a distro.
Who established that? you? Then you're part of a vocal group of people, but where others (me included) take objection to that opinion. Ubuntu develops a popular distribution by integrating different packages for a target audience of computer non-experts desktop users better than their competitors. This integration and smoothing work is *not* just marketing -- and it doesn't matter that you and others want to debase that important work that's part of our Linux eco-system.
For the record, I am not involved in Ubuntu and don't even use it. (I installed it once in a VM and recognized after a few weeks that it's not my style of distro.) But I've met many people who started to use Linux because of Ubuntu -- they tried RH and SUSE before, and Ubuntu was the first Linux distro that »did things right« for them. And just because of those newbies starting to use Linux, Ubuntu is a Good Thing(tm).