Re: xfce vs. gnome
Ditto, same goes for me, switched to Xubuntu/Gnome ...
What I mean to say is that I installed Compiz per http://www.howtoforge.com/enabling-c...oneiric-ocelot and then added a few Gnome based apps that I'd been using for years, stuff like Brasero, Libre/OpenOffice, Gedit, Nautilus, and some basic games. All in all I think Xubuntu 11.10 is just as customizable, perhaps even more so than Ubuntu 10.10 ... with the added bonus that you'll have your Xubuntu perform just a little better while being able to keep the look and feel of Gnome2 that's been abandoned by Shuttleworth.
After I learned to hate Unity and really dislike some of the Gnome3 flakiness the only alternatives for me were Debian Squeeze (that lasted 3 months) and Linux Mint. I have to say that Mint is pretty spectacular ... until you have some serious issues. There's enough of a difference between Ubuntu & Mint that frustrating little issues can become really irritating to deal with and the Mint forum is IMO one of the worst "Big Distro" forums there is. When I had a fairly difficult issue to deal with I ended up bumping a thread for 9 days before finally deciding, to heck with that. I don't wanna use Mint and Leech of the *buntu forum, but that's just me.
So I switched to the "mediocre and for old machines" XFCE based Xubuntu several months ago and now I'm just as happy with Xubuntu as I used to be with Ubuntu 10.10 which is saying a lot. Heck, even my desktop behaves so close to my previous Ubuntu desktop that I'll be able to do without the full fledged Gnome2 indefinitely (unless XFCE decides to make some radical unwanted changes too). Best of all, the highly configurable panels. All of my panels are XFCE because I find those moving, glowing, jumping, hiding docks totally irritating. So like a lot of others, I would highly recommend Xubuntu to anyone who thought Ubuntu with Gnome2 was as close to perfection as possible.
PLEASE ... don't waste anyone's time (your own included) with foolish or utterly useless comments!