/usr/bin/gnome-panel is still shipped and (although i already covered this in another post) Fallback is nothing more than a .session file, with a list of required components for the desktop. This applies to Unity, GS, fallback/classic or any combo you can come up with on your desktop. As soon as you remove Gnome-Shell from your session file (or create a .session file without it), you won't be using GS with h/w acceleration or llvmpipe (because you wont be using GSA at all
here is gnome.session (aka Gnome-Shell);
not much to see here, GS + GSD ... has a H/W accel check and then passes it off to FallbackSession, if it fails(?) or uses llvmpipe(?)RequiredComponents=gnome-shell;gnome-settings-daemon;
So really, fallback is pretty much just gnome-panel + metacity. which is expected. and here is cinnamon just for kicks;RequiredComponents=gnome-panel;gnome-settings-daemon;
I checked one of the servers and it also uses that Matrox card. I really had to check. I'd expect most sysadmins to just use SSH and Puppet (or something related). That smclient.. why setup something on the server when you can just forward X? Attaching a monitor to a server seems a bit cumbersome.. plus I don't even have access to the hosting facility :P
Fallback mode is more than a bit of configuration.
I was a very happy user of gnome 2x series when kde made 4.0 release wich sucked, but then they really advertized it as beta software and i think by 4.2 they recomanded to be included in distribution for production use.
I had to use gnome on my 13,3 netbook amd neo x2 was fast and kde at those time was very slow on my machine.
But with this gnome 3 fiasco i said lets give fedora 17 a go with 4.8 kde. Suprise same cpu memory usage and ram as in old gnome2 same speed, i dont miss anything. Kde is good if u turn off blur and other effects that hurt ur eyes, i still let some of them enabled like wobbly windows. And Fedora has a nice update cicle i will receive kde 4.9 as official update.
I strongly suggest to give KDE a try. For exp kde 4.0 released in 2008 january only to work 4 years to get to the same speed they had with kde 3.5.10.Yes its prettier more eye candy. So in the end they all reinvent the wheel duplicate efforts just to make it more bling bling and show apple and MS that linux can still make it prettier desktop. To close my logic i suggest revisit Gnome after 2 years i`m sure it will be more usable then. Linux devs dont really take up suggestions and constructive criticism so well, best case scenario they chose to ignore it.
I really hope Gnome will make 1 edition for netbooks like kde plasma and revive the old 2 panel design used in gnome 2 for desktop users. In my opinion like this they will please any and everyone.