I was switching to Linux in the optimal time, around Ubuntu 9.04/9.10. I am a programmer, so I don't want to be a "Linux guru", that's why Ubuntu was perfect for me - until Unity/Gnome3.
In latest Ubuntu releases (11.04/11.10), several important things have just disappeared. There's no Compiz-Fusion support, no Gnome2 applets. The position of the panels is fixed. The Unity launcher is "for-dummies", but I'm not. Lots of customisation options are gone. On the computer I've performed distro-upgrade, I've installed LXDE now, it's like Gnome (I've replaced LXDE's file manager with Nautilus), but it does not support Compiz-Fusion.
So, the question is: which Linux distribution is like Ubuntu 9.04/9.10, which I can just install, set up Compiz-Fusion shortcuts, select panel's position, add applets, and it just works?
Should I go back to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS? What about Mint? I don't want to dig too deep into the soul of window managers and desktop environments.
XFCE looks better and is less spartan than LXDE, I've kept the beloved Ubuntu, XFCE's panel is great, Compiz-Fusion works, drag-and-drop is no problem between Thunar (XFCE's file manager) and Nautilus (Gnome's one) and the desktop. A clean Xubuntu install would be better, but there're no major problems, I'm happy now.