> I had a go at Unity a few weeks back (IIRC not 12.04; I think it was
> 11.10). At first it looked interesting, but I quickly found myself cursing
> that they seem to be trying to avoid a distinction between launching an
> application and switching to an existing window.
IME Unity makes it very easy to do the common tasks of opening a specific
app whether or not it's running (just click the launcher icon) and opening a
new instance of an app (middle click instead).
This is as opposed to old Gnome 2 and other desktops where you have at least
two different places to go (task bar or menu/shortcut) depending on what you
want and whether the app is already open.
Works very well after you get used to it. Especially if the number of
frequently used programs is small enough to comfortably fit the launcher.