I suspect this debacle has been a massive setback for Linux on the desktop. I'm as hardcore an open source you'll find, I haven't run a closed-source OS in over 20 years, but I was almost ready to throw in the towel and install Windows during the height of this!
I did exactly this... I run linux on just about every non-GUI bit of equipment I have - virtualisation, the lot - but everything that I actually have to look at a screen for, I use Windows 7 again. Gnome 3 killed it for me... I have 3 x 24" 1920x1080 screens that Gnome 3 could never handle right. I was running Fedora 20 until Gnome 3.
TBH, XFCE would be perfect IF it was using wayland. The graphics tearing issues I had with my tri-head video card + XFCE was horrible. The sad fact was the only real fix was that XFCE needs newer graphics handling. One day it'll get there - and hopefully one day it becomes nice to use again - but until then, I went back to Windows 7 and the amount of work I actually get done is amazing...
The other benefit is that the dual GPUs (Intel + ATI) in my laptop actually work properly so I can play some TF2 on my laptop in the downtime - with VERY good performance. I couldn't get anywhere near that on Linux - even with the ATI binary drivers.