Guide to Window Maker
First, sudo apt-get install wmaker
Done? Good. First, Window Maker is sort of old. You might like it, or not, but no matter what, it is faster then Gnome or KDE. Log out to GDM (Or any other log in screen) and click on "Session". Choose window maker and log in. It will tell you something else is default, do you want to change window maker to default. You can choose yes or no, but it might be better to not have it by default now. You dont know if you like it or not! Ok, so it takes about a second to load. Not bad, eh? To the basics - On the top right over there are three icons. I dont think the top one does anything. The middle one will launch a terminal and the bottom one will take up the preferences. (On both, right click and choose Launch).
How to use it
Now, on the bottom left there is a little place where the icons of your programs go. To open up a program you just right click and choose run, then type the name of the program. It will come up. You will notice the window bar only has an X on the top right. That as you might guess will close the window. On the far left is a minimize button. You can also right click on the window bar to do some things like maximize or hide. Now, see that icon on the bottom left. Right click on it. You can use it to hide, unhide, set icon, or kill the window. (Set icon basically lets you choose the icon picture the window uses). You can right click on anywhere on the desktop to open up the menu. They are all quite self explanitory. On the bottom, you use session to restart windowmaker or do anything else like exit it. Go to appearance. You can choose a style, icons, and a background. You can use a theme which has all three of those preset. You can also save the a theme. You can use different backgrounds. If you want to use your own background, put it in /home/*USERNAME HERE*/GNUstep/Library/WindowMaker/Backgrounds and you can choose it.
Programs to Enhance Window Maker
Windowmaker on its own is neat, but to be really useable you might want some other programs. Xfe is a good and fast file manager that has the same look as Window Maker. (Sudo apt-get install xfe). You can run it by right clicking, choose run, and typing xfe into it. Now to customize a bit more. Add a panel. I have tried many panels and perlpanel is my favorite. (Sudo apt-get install perlpanel). Before running perlpanel you will want to move the application icons away from the bottom. Launch preferences, go to icon preferences (fourth one) and choose for them to be in the top left corner. Now make the icon size 32x32 so they dont take up so much of the screen. While you are at it, go to the far option on the right and check "Automatically save session when exiting windowmaker". This will save perlpanel there for when you next log in. Now save and close. Right click on the desktop and choose "Session > Restart Window Maker". Now, right click, choose run, and type in perlpanel. A panel on the bottom will appear. You can click "Actions" and run a program, take a screenshot, perlpanel preferences, and add to panel. Choose "Add to Panel > Launchers > Launcher". Type in the name of the program you want for name, a short description for comment, and the name in small case letters in program. Choose the icon and click OK. You now have a launcher of your program right there. I have three - Opera, Azureus, and xfe. You can add other launchers and delete them by going to Configure.
Now you have a fully functional customized Window Maker desktop. You have a background image, a good file manager, a good panel, and it can be customized even more (but that is for you to do yourself with your own ideas). If anything freezes on you just open up a terminal and type in killall then the name of the program.