A long time ago I gave up on the idea of meticulously customizing my computer. Perhaps it's because I've installed, utilized and reconfigured more than one, or because I was really getting into programming. Or maybe it's just too much work. Over time, I've found it's sometimes simplest to just reformat a system.
I've been using Ubuntu as my main environment on my PCs for awhile now, and I've just stuck with the standard distribution. Recently, I tried out Gnome 3, which has been heavily criticized. I'm not sure why. Gnome 3 gives you maximum desktop space, an easy to use launcher and window manager and almost endless customization. What makes this type of customization different? It's the plugins! Installing "Gnome Extensions" is as easy as could be, the process is similar to a Chrome app or Firefox plugin.