@Pallidus : what's wrong with you ? Shouting and insulting won't make your posts more relevant. It's actually the other way around, it automatically discredits your speech.
Anyway. I'm also very saddened by the current state of the Linux desktop. As an "advanced & long time user" I will manage and find something that is OK for me. (I'm switching all the time, which is a source of strain and frustration.)
What annoys me the most is what we offer to the "average Joe user" and the general public. At the moment, I'm quite sad to say there is nothing really ready, reliable, easy to use, properly supported (...) for him/her. I used to convert people to Linux, who were charmed by the straighforwardness of Gnome 2, simplicity, speed and configurability. Now some of them are leaving the boat and I don't even know anymore what to advise them to use, alhtough there are more choices than ever !
Anyway, I think the GNOME 3 team did a LOT of great work. As far as stability is concerned, this is my best pick. BUT I cannot stand the way we are supposed to use the shell which makes me lose *a lot* of time. I cannot think of any serious use case, actually. I do work around it thanks to extensions, but it doesn't feel right and it seems I fight against the DNA of Gnome 3. [I used it quite a lot, with a lot of extensions, but it seems further G3 versions took things further from my vision of the OS ; also my essential extensions were not updated and it was not acceptable for me to spend hours trying the good combination of extensions... More complicated than justing setting up KDE once and for all !]
I think the KDE team did an AMAZING LOT of great work. But years after the 4.0 release, there are still some essential parts which are not ready and still regressions in basic features. Also, there is no more Canonical support, which is a huge "OUCH" for me. [this is what I'm using ATM]
I think the UNITY team did some PRETTY GOOD work. But (along with Cinnamon & other forks) it looks like a lot of duplicate work and a lot of efforts wasted in things that I completely dislike (the Dash) + overall, it also makes me lose time doing simple tasks. [this is what I was using just before, but I encountered some "showstopper" bugs and was annoyed by the new features like webintegration]
I think the XFCE / other teams did some NICE work but they lack the man-power to turn into something innovative with tons of great features.
So overall : it's amazing how many great things were done. But I am very embarrassed to advise any of those to anyone (in the general public). At the time Lucid was releases, I was enthusiastic and converted quite a few persons.