Needed and "darned convenient and pretty" are not the same thing.
I could probably do everything I do in Win 3.11 or CDE, if the applications would run there. I don't NEED anything else, really.
But I WANT a prettier desktop with more functionality.
If you are happy with XFCE, then run XFCE. I tried the Fedora XFCE spin on a netbook quite recently. Quite quickly changed back to Gnome 3 since it works better (for me). Sure, it is slower than XFCE, but it was an acceptable loss to get the added functionality.