The boot-up speed of Ubuntu 9 is remarkable!
I have a variety of machines that I use regularly.
Several are RedHat Linux machines that reside in a machine closet. I leave those machines always-running; it's not uncommon for 9 months to elapse between reboots.
Many are Windows desktop and laptop machines. I shut these machines down routinely, but never happily, because these machines take 2, 5, sometimes 7 minutes or more to boot up. If I can avoid it, I try not to shut these machines down, because boot is so painful.
I have an old laptop (a Dell Latitude 610) which runs Ubuntu 9, after years of painfully running Windows XP.
This machine boots up in lightning speed! It gets to the login prompt in 6-7 seconds, and gets to the full Ubuntu desktop in about 5 more seconds.
I'm not sure how they accomplished this (though I recall reading a detailed article several years ago by a team which was focusing on improving startup speed, so I suspect the answer is simple: hard, sustained work), but I sure am happy that they did it!