There are people that uses a linux desktop/workstation for everything: from a videograme console, to flight sim or serious research. I remember some flamewars regarding Gnome vs. KDE, and I put it simple: I had used gnome for numerical calculation on quantum computers (yes, there are some papers published) and all programs where written while I was using gnome, just because it was very comfortable to work with instead of KDE. In the same way I spent several hours playing quake or flying with FGFS, of course using gnome.
But what I had found very very very useful are basic 3D desktop effectrs: woobly windows and 3D cube, and here is why:
3D cube allows me to move in a comfortable way between viewports, the same way as with desktops. People who write pappers, do research or do numerical calculations often needs to drag windows between desktops or viewports.
Wobbly windows just feel natural and comfortable. For me is pure ergonomics, just think on real objects: they get deformed while you move them! I've found not only for me but also for my students and colleages the woobly efect really useful, it feels just unnatural to move a "solid" window.
And now something you may not expect, but while I am giving a conference or a lecture, both effects are just great, not only people like them (and of course get a desire to try GNU/Linux), but it allows me to have several papers, PDF files for conferences and running programs on cube faces and switch between them in a very attractive and efficient way.
So 3D effects are not only for teenagers who play a lot twith their computers, also for teachers and researchers who give lectures and conferences, and use linux in a dayly basis.
For the moment I haven't found a solution, but there are some missing features that makes a desktop much more useful, something as simple as move a window with alt+left-mouse. As I said befere, some people just need to move a compare window contents, and alt+left-click just solves that problem, now I have to click on title bar: the most uncomfortable way to move a window, just like Windows(TM).