I have Mint 8 installed on an HP TX 2000 tablet laptop, and the touch screen works (pen only) out of the box!
Can anyone recommend some good linux apps for tablets (on screen keyboard, handwriting -> text, navigation, gestures, etc).
One handwriting to text app I know of is cellwriter. It's fully customizable and it's easy to send the text to your applications. I don't know if you would consider using KDE, but it has gestures automatically supported and some touch-friendly widgets like "Keyboard," which is fully resizable and very usable, and Lancelot, a replacement for the default application menu.