static workspaces is also a core part of my work-flow. I've got winkey+1 burned into my fingers for accessing a collection of terminals, winkey+2 for web, winkey+3 for email/IM. GNOME3 destroys that for me. Even the UI to configure the shortcut keys is gone, had to futz in dconf. XFCE works better in this regard for me (though has other downsides). Will try MATE next, now it's packaged for Fedora.