Yay, a new laptop! Ubuntu runs fine on the S430 from a live USB stick, including suspend.
The hard part for me was to decide how to use the SSD. The machine comes with a hybrid disk: 500Gb of HDD and a 16Gb SDD. I ended up mounting /, /boot and /usr on the SSD, and the rest (most notably /home, /var and /tmp) on the HDD.
So in the install menu, i chose the "something else" option and manually partitioned the disks. Of course, first time i forgot to change the value for where to put the boot stuff and it ended up on the HDD, so when BIOS tried to boot from SSD it said "missing operating system".
This is my current partitioning scheme (HDD=sda, SSD=sdb):
Filesystem Type Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb3 ext4 4.6G 667M 3.7G 15% /
udev devtmpfs 3.9G 4.0K 3.9G 1% /dev
tmpfs tmpfs 1.6G 900K 1.6G 1% /run
none tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
none tmpfs 3.9G 76K 3.9G 1% /run/shm
none tmpfs 100M 36K 100M 1% /run/user
/dev/sdb2 ext4 185M 81M 96M 46% /boot
/dev/sdb4 ext4 9.9G 2.3G 7.2G 24% /usr
/dev/sdb1 vfat 37M 122K 37M 1% /boot/efi
/dev/sda2 ext4 9.2G 150M 8.6G 2% /tmp
/dev/sda1 ext4 184G 273M 174G 1% /home
/dev/sda4 ext4 9.2G 149M 8.6G 2% /srv
/dev/sda5 ext4 9.2G 149M 8.6G 2% /opt
/dev/sda3 ext4 9.2G 975M 7.8G 11% /var
It boots in 17 seconds, from BIOS splash screen to logged in and ready to work. Of course, i didn't measure how long it takes when everything is on the HDD :)
Then i changed the fstab mount options of SSD filesystems to include noatime, nodiratime and discard.
Update 24-01: The Thunderbolt interface also just works, at least when connecting an external monitor.
Update 24-02: The only thing that disappoints me is the internal battery. Only 2.5 hours of battery life and no spare.
Update 02-04: /boot tends to fill up, for each kernel update it adds a initrd.img-x, abi-x, config-x, Systen.map-x and vmlinuz-x (where x is the kernel version). Each update takes about 24Mb. So maybe it's wise to make /boot larger. (Googling for "clean /boot partition" is even wiser.)
Update 25-09: Tried out linrunner's tlp tools, but that didn't improve battery life. It's nice however that this offers configurability of battery charging settings. So you can start charging at 75% and stop at 80%, for battery longevity.
Update 29-09-2014: I now changed it to
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb2 15G 3,6G 11G 27% /
none 4,0K 0 4,0K 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
udev 3,7G 4,0K 3,7G 1% /dev
tmpfs 757M 1,2M 756M 1% /run
none 5,0M 0 5,0M 0% /run/lock
none 3,7G 156K 3,7G 1% /run/shm
none 100M 68K 100M 1% /run/user
/dev/sda2 92G 64M 87G 1% /home
/home/kees/.Private 92G 64M 87G 1% /home/kees
with a 16Gb swap space on the HDD. sda = HD, sdb = SSD.