I am posting this so that others will be able to fix this problem if it occurs to them (and to rant a bit).
When shutting down Ubuntu 12.04, I was warned that I had an open (unsaved) program running. I hit CANCEL to stop the shutdown process. At that point my "taskbar" and program launcher had already been killed. I proceeded to save the open program and then called up terminal to sudo reboot to resume shutting down the computer. Apparently that was a mistake....
After restarting my computer and when trying to log back into Ubuntu, I kept getting spat back out to the log-in screen. I was only able to log in as Guest. After a Google search in the Guest session I learned this was a "common issue" which requires booting up a live session (I used Puppy) and deleting the hidden ".Xauthority" file in the home folder of the affected account. After that, I rebooted and logged in as normal.
So my (somewhat rhetorical) questions are...
Why does Ubuntu always kill the taskbar and launcher before asking if you want to cancel the shutdown process? It's just my humble opinion, but the "open window / unsaved work" check should occur before anything is killed.
Has this issue been fixed on later versions of Ubuntu? If so, why is it still a problem on the LTS version? I mean, I use an LTS version thinking that all the little bugs will be ironed out during its lifespan. Does it only receive security updates without addressing major known bugs for the rest of it's life span?
Is Ubuntu's goal to drive people away from terminal commands? I typically flow back and forth, using terminal about as seamlessly as GUI and I like having the option to do either.
Finally, is there a correct way to shut down after pressing the CANCEL shut down button; when the GUI options are gone?
Don't get me wrong, I like Ubuntu a lot (it's still my favorite OS), but I understand why stuff like this would drive people away from using it.