to the OP (Original Poster.) That one isn't quite fair, it's all over Fedora's pages that they attempt to avoid proprietary software. Where would you have liked it listed? I don't think they're going to add it as a message when you install VLC--not being a coder or packager, I have no idea how much work would be involved in doing something like that, but they make a good effort to let people know that they don't include the closed source stuff--not to mention, that, unlike Ubuntu or Mint, they are US based, so probably have to pay more attention to legal issues.
Also, keep in mind that Ubuntu has a different goal--their stated number one bug is that Windows is more popular than Ubuntu, and therefore, I think they put more effort into making it as easy for someone to transition from Windows to Ubuntu as they possible can. Note that they too don't include the closed source stuff in initial installs--I would guess for the same reasons.
Thanks to the rpmfusion folks, though, it's pretty trivial. I suspect that if you stick with us, after a few more installations, you'll do it without having to think about it.
For those who are using Linux just to escape MS or Mac, Ubuntu *might* be the better choice. I emphasize might because, for example, I've had more hardware issues with Ubuntu than Fedora. Other people will say just the opposite.
The advantage of Fedora, I think, is that you often get the first look at the new stuff that sooner or later, winds up in most of the other available distributions as well.
Honestly, even for the inexperienced, although it might be a bit easier in Ubuntu, I wouldn't call it complicated in Fedora. I usually install mplayer from rpmfusion, which pulls in all the codecs that I seem to need.
Especially when you're starting--and ESPECIALLY after you've gotten used to the way one distribution does things--it can certainly be frustrating using another distribution that does things differently. One isn't inherently better than the other, IMHO, it sort of comes down to which *you* like.
(I can't really compare them, since with Ubuntu, I'll tend to just throw it on something, using default settings and play with it a bit, whereas since my job is RH based, Fedora is what I use for most of my actual work--therefore, I customize it a great deal, and by now, I know where most things are.)