Just hope gnome 3 got better at working in VM, it kind of sucked last time I tried, if you didn't also have gnome 3 running has your client DE. But other then that I admit I always found gnome 3 to be fine, especially since I very much like the automated virtual desktop.
I think it's a clever choice, as it stays visually close to gnome 2.x style, therefore not losing corporate people (primary "client" of the distro) with a brand new ui to their eyes they have to learn, so almost no work-time lost.
Laugh if you want, but it has been the Microsoft Mantra for years (it begins to change with Windows 8, where touch interfaces and cross-platform coherence calls for a bigger change). And it worked, not only because you can use the same software, but because it has the same overall look and feel across years.
I don't know how it is called in english, but there's a phenomenon called (french translation) resistance to change. Common people (even those who use computers every day, at home and/or at work) don't want to re-learn things as basic as user-interface (not talking about the ERP, a mess I could see in my previous job, people were all lost, even those theorically more skilled than me). After migrating my laptop to Wheezy, I am myself struggling with tuning KDE interface to get some personal windows-era behaviour back, even if I'm used to manipulate different UIs every day.
So for people going from previous Red Hat flavours (from 5.x or even 6.x), it's a very good choice, as upgrade won't be so harsh visually speaking.
great news. Lets hope they put some serious work into it, to make it into a high quality desktop, and not just a discouraged fallback mode to appease haters.
For now though MATE seems to be the best choice of gnome2-style desktop (kind of obvious as gnome2 was the best gnome2-style desktop and MATE is just gnome2 with some small new features, bug fixes and library updates).