Cinnamon, the fork for Gnome Shell by Clem Lefebvre of Mint fame has a new release. Although 1.1.3 users were expecting 1.1.4, this version has jumped to 1.2 and for good reasons. The look and feel very much approximates what was the "normal" Gnome2 desktop experience. The changes include easy, graphical ways to alter the desktop look, like putting the panel on top, bottom or both; new desktop effects, customizations and applets.
Even better, this new desktop is available for many distros, goto:
for the pretty pictures, full descriptions and download.