I've moved to XFCE on Debian and I'm absolutely delighted! I realise I'm stating the obvious below, and please forgive me for that, but I wanted to express the reasons for my gratitude to everyone involved in creating XFCE.
The speed improvement compared to my old Ubuntu Gnome Unity setup is very impressive indeed. Even with Compiz installed, XFCE is so much quicker and more responsive. (I understand what some might say about installing Compiz on XFCE... But as I've been using Compiz for so many years, it has become essential. For me, the cube is the fastest desktop switcher, and I switch desktops a lot; it simply feels wrong to operate a computer without the cube. Anyway, hey - what's wrong with fast AND shiny!)
I found Ubuntu becoming ever more frustrating and annoying - a tablet interface on a desktop computer? Ahem. I'll always be very grateful to the Ubuntu team; they helped me move away from Microsoft Windows in the first place. But in the past couple of years they've been going in exactly the opposite direction to how I wish to interract with my computer. With the XFCE interface, I'm happy again.
More and more, Ubuntu seems to be tightly integrating stuff like Zeitgeist that should, in my view, be optional. My CPU should not be whizzing away all the time doing things I don't need, and do not want. With Debian XFCE I have choice again and that's very satisfying.
In the past week that I've had Debian XFCE installed my computer hasn't crashed or frozen once. With Ubuntu it was happening every day.
I can see that I'm going to enjoy my computing a lot more from now on. Thanks again.
If you search the list archives, you'll find a few other Debian+Xfce users on this list feeling the same way! It's an 'uncluttered' way to set up a Linux computer, and besides the speed there's the broad Xfce configurability in what you see on screen and how you interact with it.
That said, Xubuntu 12.04 is a pretty conservative -buntu and is a nice starter for former Windows users.
Hi - I like your user name, gnome_refugee!
I considered Xubuntu, but rejected it because it's still has *buntu-ness. I became so disillusioned with Ubuntu - the developments and philosophy seem to be getting ever more contrary to what I like - that, just in case, I wanted to get as far away as possible. A shame, but in the end I'm glad that it forced me to look at alternatives which I now discover are far superior.
I'd be really interested to know how many people are choosing XFCE. I'd love to see figures or a graph. Seeing how good XFCE is I'd like to think it's a rapidly growing user base.