WinXP's start menu is one of the best features, so far as GUI is concerned. With Vista it goes a step further: it now has a search option that enables you to search right from the menu panel. Ubuntu's default menu interface is much like an 'ancient' one. But now, you can change it all! :D
This new menu is emulated from LinuxMint's slab-like menu. I found it here. Very intuitive and much like XP.
You need the packages to install the menu. You can directly download the file from Mint's repository page. Just download the mint menu file and install using Gdeb package manager, i.e. double-click and install. But I recommend you to use this file instead, if you are using Ubuntu. It is specially patched for Ubuntu. Install in the same manner.
Next, right-click on the panel and click 'add to panel...' In the list, you'll find the menu! ;)
A li'l tweak
I made a few changes in the default view. You can access the configuration by just right clicking and going to 'Preferences'.
If you have Beagle installed in your system, then you can use the search tool available with the menu. But Ubuntu Gutsy comes with Tracker as the default search tool. So, you need to change the preferences a li'l bit. In the preferences dialog box, go to the 'plugins' tab under 'irieMenu' and then go to 'application'. Now, find out the line that has a name 'search_command' and change 'beagle-search SEARCH_STRING' with 'tracker-search-tool SEARCH_TOOL'.
Done! ;)
Change the colors if you don't like the default colors. I changed them, and this is how it looks now: ;)

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