Yes, it is done.
After hours and hours of trying to get Ubuntu up and running, I am here.
The problem? The wrong ISO (strike 1!) burned too fast (strike 2!) on a damaged CD (steeeeerike 3!). Read more about it on the Ubuntu Forums.
So dear reader, if and when you decide to join the club, just remember to avoid all three errors above and you'll be fine.
Now to get Xubuntu up and running...