I've also been using Linux for the same amount of time as my primary dev platform. I, like many others, hated Gnome 3 when it first came out. I still grumble about it when something weird breaks, but I wouldn't go back to Gnome 2 now if you paid me. Gnome shell with the right extensions is in fact now my favorite desktop. I wish more things were customizable but with extensions I can get most of what is needed to make it the way I want it. I don't care if those who prefer MATE or whatever use that instead; choice is good.
For some reason people seem to believe if they don't like something, no one else possibly could. Try to grow up and stop complaining about something you don't even use.