> The thing is, *most* people also want something familiar
When Windows 95 appeared nobody among people I new complained about the switch from the Program Manager GUI of Windows 3.1 to the task bar at the bottom with a start button. The new interface was faster and easier to use in almost all tasks and time to to adjust to it was non-existent.
So a new interface can be very unfamiliar, but as long as it is perceived as a clear win, people would rarely complain. The trouble with Gnome Shell and Windows 8 is that the new GUI was a regression for many tasks and work flows.