Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
If you've decided that GNOME 3 is not for you, what do you do?
The first thing you should do is make sure that you are not just reacting against the fact that you are facing a new desktop. The fact that many people – the exact percentage is uncertain -- like or tolerate GNOME 3 should be proof enough that you should be wary of snap judgments. Persist with GNOME 3 for a week, and you may find it more endurable than you originally imagined, especially if you learn how to change the default settings.
But if you are determined to avoid GNOME 3, what are the odds that you will find something to your liking? Probably, you will have to endure some differences. But assuming what you want is a desktop that resembles GNOME 2 as closely as possible, here are some possibilities to consider:
Considering the troubled relationship between Ubuntu and GNOME, Unity might be considered Ubuntu's answer to GNOME 3.