I have been testing video calls from the newly launched pidgin voice/video service. The test was done with a windows user on the other end , on a dell studio 15 laptop running windows vista home premium.
On my end i have been using the latest ubuntu 9.10 alpha4 daily release 29th of august 2009. This was done as the required voice /video libraries are currently not available in ubuntu 9.04. Hence you wont see the media option even if you install the latest version of pidgin in Ubuntu 9.04.
The voice is very clear and video is of good quality . I did not run into any trouble with my ancient webcam . Moreover I did not have to configure anything for the voice or video. Everything is very simple and works out of the box. The interface is very simple and user friendly.
I am sure this video call service will again get pidgin back in the default ubuntu installtion.
I even checked out the empathy videocall service for google mail under ubuntu 9.10 alpha 4 with a windows vista user on the other end. It works much better than in ubuntu 9.04. I guess the new kernel (better video quality) , updated gnome and empathy libraries are responsible for improved support. In ubuntu 9.04 the voice used to crack and audio was sometimes too shrill to make a normal conversation. But now it is a real treat to talk . By the time Ubuntu 9.10 is released in October, Linux users will have two fantastic clients Pidgin and Empathy to make video calls apart from skype.