I demonstrate on a System Administration module at the University I'm at and the Linux machines have had the GNOME Shell for the past 2 years. Every year the students complain about how difficult and frustrating it is to use and by the end of the module a large proportion of them either ssh into the Virtual Machines the use from their own Laptops or use the Fallback mode. It is pretty embarrassing. This year KDE has been installed alongside GNOME so at least students will have a choice.
Gnome Shell isnt that jarring, it sounds like you are very conservative in UI appearance much like enterprise audiences (Microsoft Windows NT series for enterprise still retains the old Win2000 UI interface at the request).
RHEL7 is doing the same thing while still gradually incorporating the new Gnome 3 features.