Up until very recently, I thought they really dropped the ball with the GUI changes and they were driving people away. I thought in a way that it was nice that they were at least trying to differentiate themselves, but that it wasn't for me. But them I saw Mark Shuttleworth's presentation on Ubuntu phone and tablet and it all clicked into place. Even the name - Unity - as in one front end for everything. Now I see where they're going with it and I realise that they've guessed what the future is going to bring and are taking steps now so they won't be caught with their pants down when it's all touch screens and tablets. Windows did it fairly drastically with metro, apple's doing it more subtly by slowly merging iOS with the desktop, and Linux is going to have to do it sonner or later.
Now I'm back on board and using Ubuntu with unity over KDE again and I'm willing to forgive the minor annoyances and put them down to teething problems.
As for mir, they've obviously worked out that if they have a way to allow people to easily get Ubuntu onto all of the squillions of existing android devices easily then hardware manufacturers and hobbyists can start putting it on there without all the hardware problems that linux used to be notorious for.
Luckily for anyone who doesn't want to go through the teething pains, there are loads of other distros to choose from and you can come back to Ubuntu when unity is more mature. All he's asking is that in the mean while, please don't slag it off online.
I think after all the money he's put on and all he's done for Linux, we should give the guy the benefit of the doubt with this one. I'm back in