I have to agree with everything and add a few things.
--- Does it finally fix the problem with pressing alt+tab while dragging something between maximized windows? I used to do this all the time in windows and can't see why it doesn't work in gnome.
--- Here are some applets I always use:
- System Monitor - top, middle (CPU, Mem, Net, Swap, Load Avg and Disk Activity all at a glance. Because the system is not expressive enough to show what is really happening most of the time.)
- Window Selector - top, right (shows all apps on all virtual desktops. Great for when going to someone else's desktop or finding a lost window for someone or yourself)
- CPU Freq Mon - top, middle (because I want to know when and how often my cpu has to speed up to do what processes want to do -- usually correlated with system monitor...)
- Force Quit - top, middle, left (a better name for it might be "button for memory sanity in firefox". It's simpler than any session manager firefox extensions and has been easy to teach to several users who share my habbit of using lots of tabs. but now I use chrome and only use it very seldom now but it does come in handy sometimes. Mozilla if only you liberated libgecko (freeze the API now, make a release and then do normal release version number bumps when you make API changes, though libgecko might be up to version 15.3.5 by now...), made a browser that uses multiple processes. I might switch back to firefox once FF 4 comes out with multiple processes split per tab or security domain)
- Lock Screen - top, middle, left (sometimes you want to step away without having to wait N minutes for the screensaver and autolock to kick in. --could be replaced with bluetooth proximity detection possibly)
- Weather - top, middle, right (because I like knowing the outside temp at a glance with just information and without the commercialized fluff to get in the way)
- 8 Desktops - bottom, right (because like to use different desktops for different categories of tasks I am performing (browsing/chatting, image editing, screen full of gterms for one set of systems, etc.)
I don't think gnome 2 is pretty by any definition, but it is functional and whenever I have to use a windows system I find so many warts (middle click on a scroll bar, scroll wheel focus doesn't follow pointer, and on and on or even try turning on compiz. Gnome is functional, it's a workhorse.
Finally they're getting more sane by not making spatial nautilus the default anymore (you can compile it out IMO).
Gnome 3 needs to be a parallel install to Gnome 2. Let it experiment and mature and actually deliver on its vision instead of moving over to it before the benefits are available and usable. Learn from the mistakes of KDE, not repeat them. IMO between the time of gnome 2.30 .. 2.34 .. 2.40 should be the time to let Gnome 3 mature and become feature complete.
IOW, Gnome2 should live until Gnome3 proves itself, not when it's not cool anymore.