After uninstalling all the 'crap' that comes installed with this laptop, I noticed that the power used by this laptop would go up. I was regularly drawing 12-13 watts. So I used the recovery partition to get the laptop back where it was at.
5+ hours later, the laptop was again drawing 8.7 watts if it was idle. Now I'm slowly seeing what I can uninstall and still keep a low power draw.
Sorry to my friends at Symantec, but your products are always the first to go. Norton starts many different programs, and slows system startup to a crawl. The cure is almost worse than the disease.
As for Linux, the 2.6.24 kernel is a lot better than the 2.6.22 kernel. But my custom kernel doesn't have all the features that the default Ubuntu kernel does. I'll need to try an 8.04 alpha 2 install and see if that helps the power usage. I'd really like to see Linux power usage to be at least comparable to Windows.