Linux Mint with MATE works really really great
In the past few weeks, I've spent some time dabbling with MATE, the new Gnome 2 fork slowly gaining momentum in the Linux world. MATE is designed to be, and let me quote the author, a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users, using traditional computing desktop metaphor. It might be what everyone needs, a fully functional environment intended for users with opposing thumbs.
My Linux Mint 12 reviews, available hither and thither, show just how bad Gnome 3 is. If Linux Mint fails, then we have a serious problem. An abomination really. Well, maybe MATE can save the day. It's unto Gnome 3 what Trinity is unto KDE4. But then, I did not quite like Trinity, nor do I think it has any future in the desktop world. And yes, it's likely that distro developers have written off Gnome 2 forever and that MATE will never gain the critical mass of users required to sustain it and that it may yet fade into obscurity. For now, though, it's a beacon of hope in a bleak maze of code.