Quote Originally Posted by j2723 View Post
That probably explains the "lags" I was experiencing.
It depends. Mutter tries to do fancy shit with VSync, and fails at it with some proprietary drivers. Mostly on AMD hardware, but I've seen it happen on Nvidia as well. When things aren't working right, everything feels all "floaty" like your iterations are a few frames behind your actual inputs. It's pretty easy to fix though.

That aside, the one thing that can be said for the Gnome team (and their cousins working on Cinnamon and Pantheon) is that they know how to design a good looking system. I use and love Dynamic Activities, which is one of the main reasons I don't really like KDE, Unity, or Xfce. Unity isn't an option for me (I use Arch) and Xfce doesn't have the nice features of Gnome, at least not with Gnome's elegance (system settings, applications search, overview, etc). KDE (like Enlightenment) is very ugly IMO. Way too many slow and "shiny" effects everywhere, tons of inconsistent multi-colored icons all over, etc. I don't like everything about Gnome's design, but they at least understand how to use Minimalisn, Whitespace, and Consistency.

Most peoples complaints about Gnome are due to missing features (like no "taskbar"), but most, if not all, of those are fixable with Extensions (like "Dash to Dock"). Granted I do agree they sometimes go a bit overboard, and I do think they should build in some more advanced default settings to enable the most commonly requested features (again, like the missing taskbar, and natulius features). That said, I've installed stock Gnome Shell on both my Mother and Grandmother's machines, and both of them didn't have any problems understanding how to use the system. Indeed, gnome's design kept there computers much cleaner (no desktop icons everywhere confusing them, no way to fudge up system settings, etc). They understood how to change basic settings cause Gnome's settings area is so basic, and they instantly understood how to access apps and switch windows. They even really liked the overview area as a way to get to their "background" windows (over the "listed on taskbar" concept Windows 7 uses) cause it makes visual sense when you see all the windows zoom out.