I always want to see the “Date Modified” etc. detailed list-view in Nautilus. You can make the list-view be default in Ubuntu 12.04 by:
gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-folder-viewer 'list-view'
If you wanted to check what your setting was first, you can read the current value by typing:
gsettings get org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-folder-viewer