Off switch during install – For someone who has a change of heart post-installation, I think the ability to turn off the Amazon suggestions from the settings area is great. However, for someone not aware of Amazon's inclusion, a check box needs to be presented during the install of Ubuntu. I believe not doing this will likely lead to future headaches down the road for the Ubuntu team.
Amazon for music and video only – To me, the idea of software and documents being polluted by Amazon results is genuinely disappointing. Not because I have any issues with what Canonical is trying to do, rather because the results presented are of no value. On the other hand, video and music suggestions offer the potential for value to Linux users, as MP3s and Amazon movies. New discoveries could be made and purchases would be credited to Canonical. It's a win-win for both Canonical and anyone who wishes to participate.
And when used in conjunction with the option for an off-switch during an Ubuntu install, no one is going to generate more bad word of mouth about something that has the potential to be a good feature.
Great ideas, poorly executed
I'm a fan of Ubuntu. I use the distro everyday, all day. Unity has become my primary desktop and despite being resistant to it back in 2011, I've come to enjoy aspects of the desktop experience.
So if someone from the Ubuntu development team or anyone from Canonical reads my comments above, I sincerely hope that they see my suggestions as something of value and not merely a "me-to" article complaining about how Ubuntu has "gone commercial."
Canonical has poured endless resources and countless dollars into making Ubuntu the best desktop they possibly could. So the idea of finding new and creative ways to fund their efforts makes perfect sense to me. All I would ask, as a fan and as a user of Ubuntu, is to consider the feedback your users are sending your way.
Thus far, I'm seeing evidence that suggestions are being heard by Canonical, but there still are the critical usability issues with Dash and Amazon that I've mentioned on above. My advice to Canonical would be to address this now, before 12.10 is released to the public. Not doing so will result in most people disabling your Amazon feature and leaving the potential for affiliate revenue out of reach.