KDE: 2 weeks later
OK, so after our last podcast/open ballot, I felt that I'd been a bit hard on KDE. At the very least, I thought I should give it a decent run so that next time I complain about it, I've actually got reasonable grounds to do so! After the podcast, I moved both my work desktop and home laptop to KDE 4.7 (the latest in Fedora's repositories), and have used nothing but for 2 weeks now.
Immediately after installation, it didn't suit me perfectly, but tweaking it to fit my needs was quite easy. That is, so long as I worked through the massive settings dialogues in a methodical way, otherwise it was too easy to miss the particular setting I was looking for.
There are some things that I still haven't found a way to solve. I'd like, for instance, to make KWallet unlock itself when I login, so I don't have to type my password twice! But these are all pretty minor things.
The applications that come with KDE seem pretty nice on the whole, too. I've come to love Konsole - or at least, I like the pastel colour scheme :-), the games are fantastic (KNetwalk for the win!), while Firefox continues to be my browser of choice, and it doesn't feel at all out of place. That's about all I use in my day to day life, so pretty pleased on that front.
More importantly, I've found that KDE actually feels more 'out of my way' than Gnome Shell does. KRunner feels quicker than Gnome's Activity Overview, Nepomuk/Strigi do a great job of indexing my files - and making them available through KRunner, and I don't miss having to decide whether I need to use alt-tab or alt-` to get to the window I want.
The biggest things I missed about Gnome? Their calculator is better, IMHO, and I think their status icons are an improvement, too.
All things considered, I have no immediate plans to move back to Gnome. Both are good desktops that I've enjoyed using, but I'm just happier using KDE for now.
The moral of the story? Always give something a good try before giving up on it - and that I should think before I speak more! Oh, and Linux seems to have a plethora of fantastic desktops now, I only hope application developers pick up the charge in the near future and convince me to leave my browser for more things than text editing and the occasional game of KNetwalk.