What medium priced LGA 1155 ATX motherboard for wouldyou suggest for running Ubuntu/Debian. I am primarily interested in stability and boot reliability. Also please suggest a video card for same. I intend to spend about $800-$1000 on the system. I am currently using a P4C800 and it is too slow to build large verilog programs.
I did some research some time ago, before the release of the z68 chipset. And then, the best motherboard would be a Intel H67 BOXDH67GDB3. It is the cheapest motherboard to offer e-sata, firewire and USB 3.0 and HDMI and Sata III. Now, there are more expensive boards, but you said medium priced. There are less expensive boards, but they wont have the features above. Since Intel is a very good brand name, I think you are set. The board was selling for $100 at newegg
SSD is worth it, you can find ocz and Kingston SSDs in $1/1GB already, search for OCZ 60gb and kingston 64gb at newegg
For linux, onboard video is more than fine, but not all chipsets have onboard HDMI. Altough next chipsets from Intel will all feature it. Again, thats all you need for 1080p blu-ray playback, and some modest games. I assume you wont play on Linux anyway.
Regarding more expensive motherboards, you ussually get extra features like more USB ports (as if 10 isnt good enough), or its simply because of the brand name. Some Asus boards will have bluetooth built in, thats a cool feature,as I have bluetooth devices.