I have half a dozen desktops (workspaces) in my fallback session right now and I'm managing just fine. In fact, I can actually see all of them immediately, which you cannot. I also have a half a dozen more embedded in a remote session in one of those workspaces as well. And when I switch there, I can see all of them too. None of them disappear when the last app crashes in one of them - they remain part of my desktop.
In one of my previous jobs I also had multiple monitors, which worked just fine under Gnome 2, across multiple workspaces too.
Activities overview, in the obligatory automotive parallel, is like not having a brake pedal and an accelerator pedal accessible at all times.
Instead, there is an "activities button", which when pressed, brings out both pedals, from which one then chooses what to press. Along with those two, it also brings out the indicator lever, the radio controls, the windscreen wipers and a cigarette lighter, so you need to figure out there and then which one to press, instead of being aware of them at all times. When the pedals are brought out, the windscreen is temporarily dimmed (ergo you lose sight of the road), so that you focus can be on the "activities".
So, your anecdote (which you failed to even mention before I asked you) doesn't prove much at all. Maybe only that (subjectively) you like Gnome 3 better.
It certainly doesn't prove anything related to the link I posted, which is about some supposed Gnome 3 innovation in relation to:
- focus switching (available in pretty much all Linux DEs via workspaces)
- avoiding distraction (see autohide, also see Gnome 3 panel distractions, which everyone seems to be conveniently ignoring - why not just have black background instead?)
In other words, Gnome 3 activities overview is an implementation of RFC 1925, 6a.