Yet another Gnome refugee here (it looks like you're seeing a lot of that lately). I'm a long time Linux user from Red Hat to Mandrake to Ubuntu (and a couple others short term for good measure).
After looking around in the wake of the Gnome Shell fiasco, it looked like XFCE provided the best option to get back to work (and play) using workflows I have developed over many years. It turns out that for my purposes, XFCE is *FAR* more easily configurable than Gnome 2 ever was. I should have tried XFCE years ago! Great job guys - I think I'm here to stay.