Gnome's reduction of customizability began in the early millennium when it partnered with some large companies who had carried out formal UI studies and found that for the vast majority of users, options only confuse them. Yes, power users like being able to tweak everything, but there are already a number of *nix graphical interfaces for nerds, and why shouldn't ordinary people get a desktop for them too?
Quite. I really don't get why folk need to hate on someone else's user interface. If it's not for you, move on: the diversity of Linux is a strength, not something to get angry about.
It might be an unpopular view, but I really, really like Unity, for example. It fits in with my workflow and I forget it's there - just what should happen with a desktop environment. It also works well for my mother-in-law, my father and my wife: none of them are computer literate and they enjoy its simplicity.
I've been looking again at Gnome 3 and I also can see its appeal. The way it handles multiple desktops is great, for example, and some of the default apps superficially appear to be excellent. It might not be for everyone, but it has its niche. I might yet be persuaded.
Similarly, I can see the appeal of XFCE, KDE and LWM. They're not for me, but I can understand why people like them. Sometimes you need customisability (KDE) or something that doesn't need loads of RAM or hardware-enabled graphics acceleration (XFCE/LWM). If they work for you, then great.
Why the negativity? I know what I don't like, and I have very little interest in hearing what you don't like; what interests me is the chance of discovering the good stuff out there that I don't yet know about.