I just installed Ubuntu 11.10 on VirtualBox and I'm really impressed on both sides. It seems that everyone has worked in the right direction. Oneiric Ocelot is shipped by default with the good old vesafb and the Guest Additions of VirtualBox, 4.1.6 as time of writing, are doing its job extraordinarily. It took a couple of minutes to set the console to 1280x800 without problems.
This, for a reminder, are the steps necessary to get it: Setting my new desired resolution for VirtualBox Virtual Machine (1280x800): VBoxManage setextradata "Ubuntu 11.10" "CustomVideoMode1" "1280x800x32" (on DOS) Setting Up GRUB 2, /etc/default/grub to catch 1280x800, i uncommented only one line, no more kernel parameters nor gfxpayload and 00_header customization: GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x800 (uncommented and changed resolution) Issue sudo update-grub, IMPORTANT! That's it. Fantastic! I you further want to to customize the console i suggest a little command that let you choose the locale and fonts: sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup, my favorite font is Terminus 14, very clean.
The distribution itself really impressed me, rock solid, fast, good looking, installed with LVM without any problem using the alternative download images. I have not digged into it but I'm sure that it will be really surprising. For those who still do not know, i strongly suggest to keep a close eye on Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog blog, a fantastic resource for every Ubuntu and Linux desktop fan.