Gnome 3 desktop issues

I've been using Linux in one form or another for almost 20 years to write software. My desktop is busy and I keep connections to about 10 other desktops open for testing and development on other acrhitectures and languages. I like linux because it is flexable... or was. I keep all these desktops configured roughly the same so I don't have huge mental shifts to make when going from machine to machine. That is: one panel, on the bottom containing the menu, workspaces, notification area etc. The rest of the screen is dedicated to doing MY work. IMHO desktops should be invisible until you need them not crowding out your apps and laying multiple title bars on things. My laptop is Ubuntu 10, but I need to upgrade. I've tested several new distributions: -ubuntu 11 unity; absolute disaster seems designed for cell phones or somehing -ubuntu 11, fedora or opensuse with gnome 3. basic functionality is there but there is no way to consolidate the top and bottom panel into one at the bottom. That is an absolute requirement.

Currently if nothing changes I will migrate to a KDE desktop, but I find it slow and some of my favourite apps are not available or don't work well in KDE. The really sick thing is that I find myself using windoze 7 more and more these days and not hating it like I would if linux desktops were up to the job.

Sorry to make my first post so negative but I feel that the most open and inclusive computing environment I've ever used has taken a rather sad turn for the worse.

Wendell Nichols
Software Architect

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