I've been using Gnome Shell on Fedora 18 since that version's release candidates became available. I like it. It's fast, reliable, efficient and easy to use.
I gave early Gnome Shell versions a pass because I don't like the way the Dock is handled in the default configuration. It's really a stripped down dock, and it only becomes accessibie by exposing the entire Overview.
The DashToDock extension removes the Dash from the Overview, turning it into a more or less standard dock. It autohide/intellihides. I can make the icons smaller. I can open apps in new work spaces from it. It's got handy popout lists. I can close apps from it. If I open multiple instances of one app, clicking on its icon in the dock brings each instance, in turn, to the display. I can change work spaces by scrolling a tiny bit on the dock. All in all, it's very good stuff. It's become the control point for my activities.
The automatic creation and deletion of work spaces turns out to be very nice. I could never be bothered to fuss with work spaces before. Now, they take care of themselves. In the morning, I open each of the day's app's in it's own work space. One click gets me to from one to another. It's rather nice not needing to declutter my desktop all the time.
I can see that some people are conservative about their software choices. Far enough. If it works for you, why change? But, many of the attacks -- and that's what they are -- on Gnome 3 amount to bitter invective accusing Gnome of abandonment and breaking some kind of bond of trust that's imagined to exist between users and developers. Logically, if the Gnome team had let those voices hold sway, they would have essentially disbanded after putting Gnome 2 into maintenance mode.
Linux software design has been unoriginal and imitative for far too long. Like or loathe Gnome 3, at least they are deliberately giving design an appropriate place in their efforts and deliberately trying to innovate. That's good for Linux.
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