PyCon 2013 was my favorite conference I've ever attended. This incident has been overreacted to by everyone from Richards on down to the hordes of trolls getting on her case. There's some food for thought here but jesus christ people, calm down and use your brains a bit.
Clarification: Cinnamon isn't "the fallback mode," by which I think you mean the thing variously referred to as "GNOME Fallback" or "Gnome Classic"
(I can't keep the terminology straight either, maybe this will help: http://askubuntu.com/questions/83351/which-is-correct-gnome-classic-or-gnome-fallback ).
Cinnamon is like the fallback mode in that it builds on Gnome 3 while attempting to feel familiar to Gnome 2 users. But it's a different codebase worked on by different people (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamon_%28user_interface%29)
You are correct that both Cinnamon and "fallback" still lack quite a bit of Gnome 2's functionality. I'm keeping a hopeful eye on Cinnamon, but still running Gnome 2 indefinitely.
New York's 2nd Avenue subway started construction 40 years ago, after first being planned 83 years ago.
And yes, the project is currently under construction (again).
I am a free man!
(paraphrasing Patrick McGoohan)
Lots of practical advice in this article