>Lots of things I do (adding a printer, setting up a network, adding a new icon to the "dock" or "panel", setting up screensaver preferences, etc...) are things I will do once a year or two. Everytime I do them, it is like using it for the first time. Unless you are a sysadmin, you are not an expert in adding a printer. You do it once, then it's added, and you never ever need to go there again, unless you buy a new printer or new computer.
I don't disagree. What I do disagree with is the focus on making those 'once a year' actions easy at the expense of everything else.
At the moment, I'm trying the Windows 8 preview, coming from Windows XP (it's a similar experience going from Gnome 2 -> Unity, or KDE3 -> early KDE4 releases).
Printing is actually a pretty good example - they've completely changed the way the control panel works and it's a lot more straightforward to add a printer. Unfortunately most of the things I'm likely to use rather more often end up so deeply hidden behind a dozen clicks that the overall experience has become worse.
In fact I no longer have any idea how to find much of anything in the control panel. There seem to be fifty different ways to get everywhere, all of them bad. Apparently the idea is that you should use search for everything, but that requires you to guess what they've renamed what you're looking for, and is spectacularly useless if you're trying to find out where they've moved the keyboard layout option.
In an effort to make the system touch friendly, they've replaced the start menu with what is basically a big list of every start menu entry, ordered seemingly at random. This aids discoverability in a sense - damn-near anything you can launch is there in a big list - but as soon as you've installed a non-trivial number of applications  you have to put work into manually recreating something roughly resembling the old heirarchical format and keeping it manually maintained, or it becomes completely unmanageable.
I had a go at Unity a few weeks back (IIRC not 12.04; I think it was 11.10). At first it looked interesting, but I quickly found myself cursing that they seem to be trying to avoid a distinction between launching an application and switching to an existing window. I guess they don't want new users to open the same application repeatedly, but the problem is that those actions *are not the same*, not even conceptually, and the sooner a new user learns that the better (in reality I'm not convinced that anyone has trouble with that distinction anyway). I ended up having to use keyboard shortcuts because, in an effort to simplify window management, they'd made actual use a lot more cumbersome.
Making simple things simpler should not mean making complex things harder, or impossible.
 Actually to be fair the two control panel items that - depressingly - I find myself needing to use more than any others are Event Viewer and Network Connections. This was really a problem in Windows 7 because in an attempt to front-load the more popular control panel items they'd hidden those behind, I conservatively estimate, about 400 million clicks. In 8 they have learned their lesson there and both items can be reached by right-clicking on the 1x1 hot corner where they keep all the goodies.
 For ref: it's under 'Ease of access' -> 'Change how your keyboard works' -> 'Add a Dvorak keyboard and change other keyboard input settings' -> <select the primary input language, or 'add a language'> -> 'Options' -> 'Add an input method' -> <select from a list> -> 'Add' -> 'Save'.
 All of which will inevitably add entries to 'uninstall', 'read the manual', or 'go to our website', and won't have the name of the application in the shortcut because they assume the shortcut will be seen in their program group.