Re: just updated linux/ubuntu, don't like new desktop configuration
Yeah bro, get used to it. Ever since 11.04 the new config you speak of is the standard. It's Gnome-based and called Unity.
I hated it at first, and only liked it on my old netbook until recently. I've learned to like it a lot. gnome-session-fallback (look for it in the software center) gives a lot of the old functionality back.
Cinnamon, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, MATE, GNOME 3 (gnome shell), and Unity are your major players - the old Gnome is gone, but I think cinnamon is the one closest to it. Google how to install it (it's a ppa and simple to do). Then, google how to fully remove Unity if you like.
I have one laptop with gnome fallback as my only environment because it's pretty close to the old style I loved.
I removed unity once and had 12.04 with gnome-shell only (and some leftovers from unity dependencies the system needed) which worked very well until I screwed it up. Fool around with new environments man, it took me a while, but I learned to move on as the new releases did.
You don't really have a choice, actually.
When your entire life is measured in one moment, you change the concept of time.