You can achieve similar decorative effects on your gnome terminal or xterm , or Konsole with Byobu software available from ubuntu launchpad. Infact, the new ubuntu 9.10 ships it by default. On earlier versions of ubuntu you can install byobu from the PPA here.
On my jaunty box , I added the following to /etc/sources.list and imported the key form the PPA and installed it via apt,
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/byobu/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
your terminal will immediately change to the following screen.
The bottom line on the above picture indicates the present status of your system. It displays several useful parameters. Byobu can be customised to display several other informatiin.
Infact ,byobu is an enhancement to GNU/Screen. So, all commands applicable to GNU/ screen will work with byobu. If you are not familiar with screen look at this page for some additional information
Most of the settings of byobu are stored in a hidden directory named .byobu under your home folder. Most ot these settings can be modified from byobu itself. For customising byubu, press F9 . You will get the following screen.
You can change the look and feel of your terminal as shown in the screen-shots below.
the last option as shown below. ( Be careful as screen sessions can become background processes. I suggest you GNU/screen documentation )
and press enter.
Now click on edit->> Profile Preferences-> Title and Command on your gnome-terminal and tick Run command as login shell.
Byobu will be launched automatically next time when you start a terminal.