One of the benefits of linux is choice. There seems to be endless numbers of small and large projects filling every possible need, with many competing or overlapping projects. I see it as the job of the distributions to carefully pick which projects will perform best together and thereby give a solid user experience of linux as a whole, but my god there's been some pointless fiddling recently.
Ubuntu had always been the distro of choice for me as they always seemed to get the balance right, but lately they've totally lost their way (no minimise window buttons by default, future move to wayland, the horrid unity interface etc etc). It seems to me that they have decided to target the netbook / touch interface market, which isn't a great idea in my opinion, and has trashed the desktop experience. For this reason I moved over to Fedora recently. It's been a good choice, and has been a lot closer to the redhat / centos in use at work which has helped there too.
I'm still not chuffed that gnome 3.0 then rocked up in fedora 15 and was stunning in that it made all the same mistakes unity did, and likewise seemed to trash the old experience for something that didn't work at all with my workflow. What's going on ? All the recent breed of user interfaces have SUCKED in my humble opinion.
So I ditched gnome 3.0 and moved to xfce. Xfce on Fedora has been good so far and I've managed to mostly recreate my gnome 2.0 workflow, but I'm alarmed at how linux overall seems to be changing huge pillars of the user experience for zero gain. Perhaps its the zero gain that bugs me, but even my current setup leaves about three quarters of my machines having problems turning off due to bugs in systemd. Problems turning a pc off in 2011 ? It's really not very impressive to a new user at all.
Maybe it's just that i really want user interface designers to understand that a desktop is NOT a smartphone / netbook / touch screen please stop throwing out years of fine tuned interface design to accommodate a sausage shaped finger.
...and a sliding switch on drop down menus in place of a checkbox isn't cool either !
Maybe linux should nail its new colours to the mast, bin off the other mouse buttons entirely and go down the apple mac route. Then we just need some brushed aluminum, over priced products and draconian restrictions and we can be as cool as timmy's trendy's iphone. yay.