Low latency kernels in GNU/Linux
Since Ubuntu Studio came out I've been thinking of giving it a try, but I today noticed (as I expected actually) its package is available through synaptic (or apt-get) which means I probably don't need to download the whole iso and burn it on separate partitions to have it.
And in fact I would prefer to do everything on one system, including experimenting with music production. But since music production requires a specially tuned kernel (for real time audio processing) I would have to install a different kernel. I believe this would be the low latency version of the default Ubuntu kernel, which is easily available for install.
My question is rather simple, how does running a low latency kernel, tuned for music production, on a system which is also used for every day work affect this every day work? Or better yet, why don't GNU/Linux distros ship the low latency kernel by default (so that those who want to experiment with music can have low latencies out of the box)? What's the downside of it?