Well, I know this is Kubuntu. And I know there has been some dissatisfaction with KDE 4.x. I have felt it too, but can honestly attest to improvements to KDE as updates have come out for Kubuntu. It is noticeably more stable now than it had been when I first switched to KDE 4. That being said, I have still had enough dissatisfaction with it (speed, instability, general oddness) that I was able to become intrigued by several posts from one of my favorite bloggers, FullMetalGerbil, on a desktop I had not heard of before – LXDE (Lightweight X-11 Desktop Environment).
I tried it out (installed the packages), and I have to say, it was shockingly fast. I logged out of KDE, logged into LXDE, and WHAM! it was up like that. No waiting. Apps seem a little quicker to open on it too, but this is subjective. Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, etc. just seem to open a little quicker. I have had a few weird things happen, mostly when playing VegaStrike 0.5.0, but nothing like the crashes it would give me under KDE. No desktop crashing and reloading (I had that with Plasma several times), no freezing, no total lockdown so hard only Magic Keys would work (and sometimes, not even then) to reboot. It has been very stable. It looks nice too, not as fancy as KDE, but not hideous either. I am still working on how to customize it (ok, I haven’t really tried to at all – lazy, remember?), but I COULD if I was motivated enough. I really don’t care about tricking out my desktop anymore – I just want it to work for me. LXDE is hitting the mark pretty well so far.
I have not given up on KDE 4, however, but this is a definitely a nice desktop to work with. I can see why fullmetalgerbil raves about it.
And did I mention it’s fast?