There’s been some discussions building on Planet Debian and Planet Ubuntu about a proposal to include binary video drivers by default in future versions of Ubuntu. The motivator for including these drivers is to enable fancy 3D accelerated desktop eye candy, for the most part.
The inclusion of proprietary, closed-source binary-only drivers is contentious, because Ubuntu purports to be a Free Software distribution, and the lack of source for these video drivers makes them anathema, by definition. Ubuntu includes firmware for various network cards, so there is some precedent for the inclusion of non-free stuff in the distribution; though many folks rationalize firmware as something different than drivers, and therefore less deserving of freedom in some way.
It’s a slippery slope, to be sure. Mako has some interesting observations. It’s always interesting to hear the first-hand accounts of folks involved in the decision making that affects us, the users.
If you have an opinion on the matter, consider adding it to the AcceleratedX Comments page. This may well be an opportunity for the community to truly steer the development of a product they use.