Ubuntu ships with plenty of 3rd party software. I actually prefer to have a minimal installation and install whatever I need myself (I have a script for that). Default ubuntu is bloated in my opinion, but I agree that is a matter of taste, which is easier to solve in Distroland than in the closed OSX/Windows world.

Here are a list of 3rd party software that solves some of your issues. If not useful for you, it might be to someone who finds this post.

Focus follow mouse -Amethyst (Free and Opensource)
Window Snapping - Amethyst, Moon (Paid), BetterSnapTool (Paid) or ShiftIt (free and opensource).
SSH/NFS mounting - SSHFS/OSXFUSE/MacFusion (free, opensource, hard to use), MountainDuck (paid), Cyberduck (Paid), Expanddrive (Paid)
Hiding notification icon - Deeper (Free)