Also there should be face regognision so that if you are not behind your laptop then the screen should automatically turn itself of. This is in the making BTW but in a different form, so that if you step away from the screen but are still looking at it you'll get a big ass overview mode, like full screen notifications, Windows Phone 7 style of some sort.
This is basically how it should be done, so we can forget about that bullshit. Also 10 hour battery life isn't the future. I mean look at the latest Apple laptops, thus removing the need to even have that kind of unfriendly user intervention.
I don't use Gnome for the very reason that I want to do everything myself. I have heavily modified the behavior of my KDE desktop and I'm perfectly happy with that.
Gnome by default for the general computer user.
KDE or something else for the people that want it their way.