With GNOME Panel I usually find myself moving across the screen to switch windows and do stuffs. With the panel on the left things are easier since
1. I constantly pin my most used apps on the left. Likewise, I want to switch windows, and the Launcher is on the left.
2. I have my most visited websites pinned as app tab on Firefox - on the left
3. English is left to right
The practice of stating "Most people..." is a logical fallacy known as an "argumentum ad populum" or "an appeal to the majority." It's basically stating, "A lot of people think how I do, so I must be right." The argument necessarily ignores the wisdom of Anatole France.
I like Ubuntu's Unity bar on the left. I'm actually currently using Mint 13 Cinnamon with Cairo Dock at the bottom, but I kinda miss the left side launcher of Ubuntu. I like Gnome Shell too. Be careful with me - there's not many of us around.
AMD Phenom X4 945, 4Gb Crucial 800Mhz DDR2 RAM, 1Tb SATA III HDD, AMD Radeon R7 250X [Oibaf]