tl; drI replaced Kubuntu 8.04 LTS with Xubuntu 12.04 LTS on my old Toshiba Portege R100 laptop, and it works well. The install process was not quite seamless, but no worse than the last time time I did it 5 years ago.
I've just got my Toshiba Portege R100 laptop dual booting Win XP and Kubunutu-8.04. This was all done keeping the original XP install. All the issues encountered are equally applicable to Ubuntu and probably any recent distro.