Now we're down to semantics I'm afraid. When you upgraded to a fresh install of an OS, such as Mint 12, you got Gnome3 as the default. I would call that being forced upon me. Of course I could install my preference afterward (and I did in the case of Ubuntu 12.04), but an upgrade from a previous Ubuntu to the latest LTS resulted in my old Gnome 2 desktop going away in favor of Gnome 3. It took considerable tinkering with fallback mode to get things mostly how I had them before.
Originally Posted by Fenrin
Long story short, when you break my desktop experience by presenting me with a UI that I never wanted after begging me to upgrade, that's bad.
It strikes me that your argument about being free to use alternate DE's is functionally equivalent to denying Microsoft's vendor lock-in strategy. You can, after all, use another OS, so you're not being forced to use .Net or DirectX. Or in the Linux world, Canonical never forced the use of PulseAudio on anybody either, because you could always do a LOT of work and install OSS or finagle pure ALSA into working. Just fine. You know, like it did BEFORE they "improved" the audio stack by making PA the default and releasing it before it was ready.