> We've come to the conclusion that we can't maintain
I'm guessing due to a lack of man-power...
I've come to the conclusion [from a position of blissful ignorance] that gnome's main problem is simply a lack of developers.
Gnome 3 did have some really great ideas. But trying to use it, I've simply never found it mature or fleshed out enough for day to day usage.
So which came first and caused the other; the lack of manpower or the ongoing slow death of Gnome?
I suspect the lack of manpower - Ubuntu are the only people making a serious investment in the Linux desktop, and they've gone their own way. Gnome seems to have a handful of active developers; compare that to e.g., Mozilla's 500 odd employees; how many people do you think MS has working on their desktop and basic UI infrastructure, I'll bet at least 10 times as many as gnome, wouldn't be surprised if it's 100 times as many.