I've recently had reason to evaluate the current desktop options on Ubuntu, and it makes me feel that the golden age of the Linux desktop is already behind us. I'm tempted to write a long rant about it, although this would involve spending time on something likely to be labelled as "hate" instead of being interpreted as a collection of suggestions for doing things better. So here's just one item...
What frustrates me a lot is the way that the duplication of effort has resulted in deficient solutions that can't always be combined to produce a satisfactory experience. One example of this is the way that the GNOME file explorer tools (Nautilus, I presume) can't access WebDAV shares that the KDE tools are perfectly happy with. A solution might involve mixing the tools: after all, this is open source.
But then, if you want to have a sane file manager, you have to put up with the bizarre "precision clicking to select or open depending on which part of the icon or name you're pointing at" behaviour of Dolphin or instead try and use Nautilus for most file browsing and only use Dolphin for WebDAV, except that you can't drag stuff out of a WebDAV folder in Dolphin into Nautilus.
Oh, and you can't easily change the double-click-to-open behaviour of the GNOME stuff because the developers are presumably obsessed about a specific choice made in the early 1980s by someone at Apple. So, if you mix GNOME and KDE components, they behave in different ways. None of this is easy to explain to anyone.
Had the developers of these desktops collaborated properly (as promised), there would be common services for things like WebDAV - you could have simple scripts that wrap stuff like wget if you didn't have any time to write nice stuff (except that someone would come up with a strawman argument about needing to hammer a server 20000 times a second in order to support the development of a bloated technology-specific framework) - and less stuff would be reinvented in every iteration of every desktop. Maybe there'd also be common ways of configuring user interface behaviour, too.
Instead we have things like Unity with its abominable menu-stealing masquerading as innovation even though it's merely replicating a thirty-year-old user interface limitation in an unreliable fashion.