I tried my hands on the Snake, and was quickly defeated. It’s an ugly mess currently from the point of view of an international beginner: 2.5 (Lenny’s version) doesn’t work too well with unicode, and 3.0 isn’t yet in the repos. Ubuntu 8.10 has the basic 3.0 interpreter, but that failed me at the beginning of the 3rd chapter. Apparently the examples there require Tk, which for 3.0 isn’t in the repos.
I was surprised by the somewhat flaky unicode support in 2.5. This was due to my misconception that Python was new — newer than Java for instance. As I have no background in Python, and no code to support either, I’m just happy they’ve fixed this in version 3.