First thing here is that XBMC Live is actually built on the Ubuntu live CD so either way you're basically getting Ubuntu. The XBMC route is already configured so there is less work for you to do to get the XBMC components working. You can still install all the Ubuntu software although there is a slight chance that updates might take a little while longer to get out to XBMC than Ubuntu but as XBMC is so popular it's going to be up to date in most regards.
Biggest advantage I can see - No Unity desktop, just XFCE and ready to roll XBMC with the XBMC Live option.
OpenELEC looks very nice. But I wish to be able use a webbrowser to surf the net and check webmail, text editing with Libre Office or similar. And maybe even play a game. Is this possible with OpenELEC? Or perhaps i should install both ubuntu and openelec and have it booting in openelec as standard. Then the it is possible to boot in ubuntu whenever I need it. What do you think?
I ordered it with a 60 GB SSD (for OS) and a 500 GB HDD (for crap). It should arrive tomorrow :-) Shouldnt the SSD be enough for both OS? I am strongly considering openelec because of the boot time, however I am not impressed with the lack of a web browser. What do you reckon would be the difference in boot time in the following 3 scenarios:
2. XBMC Live
3. Ubuntu (light custom install) plus XBMC
I will consider making a small partition for openelec just for when watching a dvd or blueray. However I just realized that I need my htpc to be able to watch web tv, which seems unlikely without a browser.
If having three partitions on the same SSD, partition 1: openelec. 2. XBMC Live. 3. Ubuntu. Is it possible to make it automatically boot to XBMC Live without any senconds of delay for choosing otherwise? Then if I want a boot menu I should press a button during startup instead.