i might need to give xfce another shot. i've tried it a couple years ago and thought it was the worst DE i've encountered. it claimed to be lightweight but it was almost just as bloated as a basic gnome 2 setup, yet it was missing most of the features that made gnome 2 better, or if it had the features, it had a more awkward way of using them. i currently use LXDE on my netbook and KDE on my desktop, both of which i think are great for the purposes they're intended for.
i still haven't tried unity or gnome 3 yet, but i also don't have any strong interest in trying those either.
Still a little bummed. I offered to do the brunt of the work porting to GTK3, and even ported a few of the larger components, but basically got told that they didn't care about any of that and wanted to stick to a slow-as-molasses technology cycle.
Sounds like the XFCE developers have the right attitude. Gnome went to hell at version 3, so maybe slowing things down a bit and being careful is the way to go.
i see why you're going with that but it isn't completely true. making a lot of big changes and changing quickly isn't a bad thing, its what you change that people don't like. i started hating gnome before 3 was even announced, because they kept removing features that i liked with no replacement. when gnome 3 came out, it was just littered with problems and things that nobody asked for.
look at windows 7 vs vista for example. vista was an epic failure because it changed a lot of things that nobody asked for, it wasn't better at doing almost anything, and it was glitchy. windows 7 doesn't really have a whole lot of differences compared to vista, the only major changes that i can think of are the task bar and the fact that MS actually listened to their customers for the first time in 10 years. vista was a very slow to release OS (it was in development for like 8 years or something) and it was terrible. altho win7 is heavily based on vista, they released it quickly and it turned out to be the best thing MS released since XP's SP2.