Actually GNOME 3 supports static workspaces these days too. There are extensions that add 2-dimensional workspace support.
I understand you're upset at GNOME 3 to date. Hopefully you can see that the GNOME developers actually do appreciate extensions that add customizability. (I mean that's kind of what this whole news topic is about.)
I'm glad that XFCE seems to be working out well for you. Maybe you should take a look at GNOME 3.8 or 3.10 to see how well the classic mode lives up to your expectations next year.