>But mindshare of people like you is shrinking and it's not clear where is the natural limit of this shrinkage.
Tiling window managers have recently seen a spike in usage, due (I believe) to the sudden destruction of GNOME by folks like you, who argue "users don't want to know about that, so let's stop supporting it" and remove essential features.
There is no question that tiling window managers are more efficient. Nowadays the most common complaint about window management is that wide screens are too wide to read on, and it's a PITA to manually resize windows to look nice on them. So, in Windows 7 you can now drag windows to the sides of the screen, and they'll fill that half. So you can emulate tiling for its most common use case.
As for history, the furthest back I can remember tiling was in Windows 95. You could right-click on the title bar and click "tile". It was crap. Every window got roughly a square inch of screen space, you couldn't control which ones were visible, in what order, how much space to allocate. The default window decorations were still in place, and together they took up around half the screen area. So I wondered what the point of such a stupid feature was, and forgot about it until just now.
But nowadays, I have too much screen space for comfortable full-screen apps, no mouse (since this is a laptop), and I want my windows either 100% visible or 0%. So I've got a tiling window manager, and -now- I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I've showed it off to many people, and they all thought it was very cool (though they were Windows users and didn't have the option to try for themselves). I have never heard of anyone saying they were crap, or restrictive, or useless, until you.