> The problem is that Gnome 3 is not great software.
Yes, but it seems to be getting better every release.
> It alienates its users to the extent that very long time users jump ship in droves.
I jumped the ship. Then I tried again in F16-alpha and it rocked so much that I've kept it.
> It is a slow quirky resource hog
I don't perceive it as slow. On the contrary, it's approximately same as compiz and definitely feels lighter then KDE4.
> that fails miserably at improving workflows of both new and old users.
Not really. It did improve mine. I've got rid of the compulsive need to have things organized on a few well-known workspaces and instead perform tasks in a stack-like manner. The "there is always one more workspace under the current one" aspect is cool.
Yes, there are hassles. Like notification icons I had to put to the panel using a custom 4-line extension. Theme you need to hack up yourself. But in the end, it's actually a pretty comfy environment that finally found a way to use that weird Windows button.