If you personally prefer something that's more similar to what GNOME does, then that's fine. Use GNOME, or whatever you like.
But this trolling that KDE is completely unusably complicated is nonsense.
What could be true is a packaging problem in a distribution.
openSUSE, usually with the best KDE support out there, committed a single patch to one package (a 3rd party dependency even, not a KDE package) to the add-on repository for 4.8 (= not default, because openSUSE 12.1 ships with 4.7 by default) and now KDE applications crash all over the place.
That was an oversight by an openSUSE member and had nothing to do with KDE somehow shipping buggy software. (Rebuilt packages without the faulty patch should be available sometime over the weekend.)
Maybe this DE is right one for you:
i don`t know about bugs 4.8 was the first ever usable kde version for me. Same cpu mem usage as good old gnome2 and for what i do skype chatting torrents movies and other boring usual stuff works very fine. I turned off blur and some effects. I still miss the feature in gnome that mounted my pendrive in desktop and had the option to right click and format it, somehow this is missing in kde so i have to use gparted to format my pendrive. I use fedora kde spin and so far has been rock solid. I have to mention my crap harware is an athlon neo x2 with hd3200 very ugly exp with amd mobile platforms so far next time intel :D.
KDE used to be my preferred DE but now it's just a pile of sh**. The KDE wallet is a useless, buggy mess and the constant notifications for updates even after you actually update is a total joke. Basically, you have to disable most of KDE crap. It's gone downhill and Gnome would be an easy choice except they decided to pollute their DE as well since Gnome3 is also a mess now.
Is XFCE a good compromise? It seems like the only choice out of the bloated DEs now. Although, maybe MATE and Cinnamon deserve a look? They look half decent (only check them on Mint so far).
KDE works beautifully for me, but admittedly I'm an avid Arch user and I tend to install a base (minimal) KDE and just add what I want. I find this works better for me then some of the bloated versions of other distros, not mentioning any names..
I also immediately install "Colibri", the Notify-OSD alternative for KDE, which looks nice and IMO nicer than the default KDE popup tray notification system, but it's all down to personal preference.
And it might just be my hardware but Dolphin rarely ever takes more than 1 second to fully launch for me, which is pretty good considering the features it has.
I can't wait for 4.9... though the only truely new flashy feature I know of is the animated wallpapers which is a bit of a gimmick, but will be nice I suppose. I'm sure there will be other nice improvements under the hood. I've heard a few people say that Kwin seems to have gained even more speed.