I don't know about the drivers or anything, but I recently installed bitcoind and p2pool on 12.04.
bitcoind compiling was easy. I just had to use a newer version of libdb
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y git-core build-essential libssl-dev libboost-all-dev libdb5.1-dev libdb5.1++-dev libgtk2.0-dev
git clone https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin.git
make -f makefile.unix clean; make -f makefile.unix USE_UPNP= bitcoind
# from #bitcoin-dev:
# sacarlson: USE_UPNP= : don't build upnp, USE_UPNP=0 : build but disable by default, USE_UPNP=1 : build but enable by default