I've fled KDE before when they launched the public alpha as a major release. Since back then it's improved hugely in terms of performance and usability. I used to be a Gnome fan, but the new UI, while usable on the TV, is unusable on the dev box.
About the bling and widgets/plasmoids I just don't use them so they're not a problem. It's a way of attracting a certain user group.