I haven't touched Gnome since RH9, and have no vested interest in Gnome. But because a lot of apps require Gnome or KDE libraries, you have to onstall these behemoths if you want to use certain apps.
You are right about one thing for sure, Jack. It's the Linux Community, so we may as well stop referring to a lot of this as the Open Source community, since a lot of the stuff will no longer work on BSD or other 'Nix ( http://blog.xfce.org/page/2/ http://gezeiten.org/post/2011/01/Xfce-4.8-on-BSD-flavors) because new frameworks are created, dropped, rinse, repeat. I'm all for new, better solutions, but part of "better" is "stable".
I'm not exactly sure what is being dumbed-down specifically in Gnome, but things are being written with less CLI accessibility, and less general control overall. Go on, give people who won't support their own machines, and don't want flexibility and control these options. But stop taking them away from everyone else who cannot write apps or roll their own distro (if that would even help). This isn't innovation by any stretch.
I'd happily live in a world without sudo, Unity, or Ubuntu at all for that matter. I'm glad they make some people happy - at least until they want to actually do something with the OS configuration-wise. Heck, people have problems setting alternate DNS resolvers in Ubuntu, which should be simple in an OS that claims user-friendliness for the average user.
Go ahead, give them something Windows-like without the price tag. You can even give them those MS "Fix it for me" buttons and help troubleshooting systems that only work half the time. But dream on about giving people systems that require no documentation - it isn't working for MS (but what does MS care, they've gone to the forum help model, they are too big to care, and they already have your money), and it isn't working for Linux distros/desktops/apps.
I'll take a slightly clunky system over a polished turd any day.
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