repeat after me "They are not monolithic". The skillset to develop nice interfaces is not the same skillset to write device drivers. You can't tell people to stop working on one and start working on the other. Linux has always lagged a bit behind in hardware support . The upside of that is that old hardware tends to be supported for a lot longer - I get given hardware reasonably often because there are no longer windows drivers for it.
In the current times, it seems that overlay bars, effects, and many other visual improvements are by far more important than hardware support. But people seems to forget that the first you need to display the "pleasant" effects is a WORKING desktop and OS.
I would by this one and not use hybrid graphics- But then again my work more or less depends on there being descent OpenGL drivers available all the time. I am aware that this does cut down on battery life but this seems the best compromise.
If you would have to buy a computer now, what would you buy to run Linux?
A NVIDIA laptop? Optimus not so much supported, Hybrid performance is bad, to the level that it don't works at all...
KDE and Gnome are projects, Ubuntu and Fedora are products. Canonical and Red Hat are Companies. Neither of these do hardware themselves they sometimes sell on to OEMs in which case you can be reasonably sure that the hardware has been tested in advance otherwise you are expecting their software for which you are not paying will just work with what ever random pieces of hardware you happen to have lying around. Mac can get away with things because they are also a hardware manufacturer and support only a very limited range of hardware. Windows can get away with this because they *are* the market - if your device doesn't work with Windows then it doesn't sell. Canonical and particularly Red Hat do pay people to work on device drivers but they don't have the money to pay for people to write drivers for every piece of hardware in existence.
Then, the question again, what is happening? You want a Linux computer to work with it, not to show the superb desktop to your friends, while crossing your fingers willing that the X server don't crashes again this time, or the system doesn't hang.
I think that Desktop developer companies like ubuntu, fedora, kde or gnome and others are missing the point here, as user experience is very important, but stability is the FIRST BIG part of it, and no the effects, shadows, or where to place the buttons.