This bothers me too - but luckily it can be changed! Take a look at these instructions; they are aimed at Ubuntu 10.04 but far as I can remember are the same - or very nearly so - for later distros. Basically it just involves opening gconf-editor (usually Alt+F2 then type gconf-editor and hit Run), then navigate to apps/metacity/general in the Registry Edit-like editor, and change the value of button_layout to:
Originally Posted by samwillc
... or whichever order you prefer. Sorted!