As long as Gnome is an experimental plaything, it will make a miserable production desktop. If exploration is your goal then that's fine, I just wish the Gnome project would be clear about that. Then I wouldn't have deployed it on my neighbors' computers (way to confirm some of the bad things they've heard about Linux, argh).
MATE is already shockingly popular. If it's not a clear indication that Gnome as a project should reevaluate their decisions, what more will it take?