This might help people who are having problems with the rewrite module in Apache 2. The AllowOverride directive is actually set to None by default in Ubuntu 6.06.1. To allow the reading of rewrite directives in a .htaccess, AllowOverride must be set to All. This statements explains it well:
When this directive is set toReference: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/mod/core.html#allowoverride
None, then .htaccess files are completely ignored. In this case, the server will not even attempt to read
.htaccessfiles in the filesystem.