I still use Unity, it is strangely good after you used it for a while, despite some minor bugs here and there. Unity actually included many useful features from other desktops, such as:
- Menu on top, titlebar on top (when full screen): Saving precious vertical space, esp. useful with my 1366x768 laptop screen. And to be honest, I only care about the menu of the program I am focused on anyway, so one menu at a time isn't a big problem.
- Taskbar on the left, with grouping: same as above, with 16:9 screen I can spare some horizontal space for it. Also you can quickly switch windows with Super + F, something taken from Microsoft Windows 7, it is more useful and faster than Alt-tabbing because you don't have to wait for the list of windows to appear, you always know which keys to press.
- Windows grouping, subgroup switching with Alt+grave (`). Taken from GNOME Shell, help unclutter my windows list, and switching is faster too. I loved this feature of GNOME Shell, too bad it removed the windows list (taskbar) so I can't have an overall view of which windows are on the screen. Same goes for notification area, GNOME Shell removed that part and go for a touch-oriented notification system (tap bottom right for the notification list), which is extremely useless since the notification area (or systray, as in windows) is supposed to always stay on screen so you can have a quick glance.
Linux Mint with MATE or Cinnamon is okay too. But MATE is just GNOME 2 renamed, it works, but no better than GNOME 2, and with a bunch of leftovers tech such as libbonobo. Cinnamon is, well, nothing special, nothing attractive for me to use, that is it. And I have heard that Cinnamon devs have many problem following upstream too.