Ubuntu 13.04 is amazing so far, I have installed it on 4 of my machines here. The only issue I had was HDMI audio not working by default for both nouveau & nvidia proprietary, but that was easily fixed by upgrading to kernel 3.8.9. Finally I can set my the Unity launcher icon size smaller than 32 pixels! Raring definitely makes up for the mediocre Quantal release.
For me the Unity bar on a wide-screen display with smaller icons is not a burden; one may have it set to auto-hide also. The first thing I do on a new install is get classicmenu-indicator which gives me everything in a drop-down menu.
Don't like the icons? Get different ones. There are a fair number of icon replacement sets now available. Don't like Unity? Install something else. Works best if you pick something that will integrate well. A bit of searching and some forum diving ought to give all the infos needed to find something that works for you. Finding a good utility that'll help you do fine tuning of configuration is not quite fun, but also not that hard to do. I put classic full sliders back on my windows, for starters. The only real hassle I've got is not being able to get a larger cursor that works across X-server.
Guide: Upgrade to Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail in less than 20 minutes
I continue the upgrade guide series by bringing to you a new one: a little step-by-step guide with screenshots to illustrate the upgrade process from Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal to 13.04 Raring Ringtail very precisely.
I hope this screenshot-guide is of use for those looking to upgrade to the latest (and IMHO greatest) version of Ubuntu