I can't understand why so many people are complaining here on LWN; a few topics - ubuntu, gnome - just seem to trigger anger, it reminds me of slashdot (haven't been to that site for years, maybe it has changed since). It's like the recent article on systemd - it has its quirks but most of the complaints are because people don't want to change their habits.
After installing F15 and trying gnome-shell it was the *first* time I thought "wow, nice !". And believe me, I've been through RH5.1, 7.3, 8, 9 and a lot of the Fedoras. It's just so different from the usual improvements that it might just get a much larger user base at the price of loosing "half-power" users; "full power" ones will go on and dig into the shell's internals.
As for me - I won't use it; I'm too used to my openbox/bbkeys setup. But yet I won't criticize the direction gnome is taking and I would strongly recommend gnome-shell to people. The F15 install I did was for a friend with minimal computer knowledge and extensive testing for its planned use (the usual media/office apps + sound recording) showed that it was very stable for a .0 release.