A few things to remember:

1. All of Linux has made significant technical progress since the first release of Ubuntu. The changes in Ubuntu over that time correspond with that progress. Being more professional is a good thing.

2. It is a mistake to project individual opinions (Unity "hate') on other people. If Unity was as universally loathed as many people would like us to believe, no one would choose to install it. Ubuntu is available with a range of desktop environments, and no other distribution nurtures as many derivatives of all shapes and sizes. If you can't do it in Ubuntu, you probably can't do it in Linux.

3. The fact that Ubuntu has survived all these years, and the breadth and depth of its software base, is down to the fact that Canonical (Shuttleworth) money makes that happen. Like Red Hat and Suse, Canonical fund paid staff to design and develop. To date, it appears Canonical has never turned a profit. That cannot continue indefinitely. Not because Canonical is a greedy corporate evil. But, because a business cannot survive unless it replenishes the resources it expends. (That's true even for warm and fuzzy non-profits.) The monetization efforts we've seen included in the most recent Ubuntu releases are, it seems to me, rather desparate efforts to find a way to derive some revenue from Ubuntu so it does not become a permanent Mark Shuttleworth charity.

4. Someone motivated to use Linux primarily for ideological reasons, and not because of the nature and quality of the software, would be better advised to consider a distribution like Debian.