Finding what the majority of Linux users really wants would be an interesting exercise.
Several reviews and blogposts on GNOME3 have been very critical, but one could dismiss them as the personal opinion of haters. Phoronix ran a user survey on GNOME 3 with ~8000 respondents, but it was opt-in so the GNOME development community did not seem to take it very seriously.
I have a feeling that GNOME 3 is much more controversial than GNOME 2 ever was, but nobody knows whether it's a vocal minority or 70% of the userbase. The GNOME developers don't seem to have a process in place to collect user feedback and react upon it, which makes me wonder how they can tell what changes to the UX actually constitute an improvement.
The Gnome Foundation could spend some money to run a serious usability study on Gnome Shell, similar to the one that Sun did at the time of Gnome 1 which led to many of the UI changes we saw in 2.x.
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