Seems like Gnome Shell has been in the headlines quite a bit lately, which is kind of weird since it's been about two months since the last version was released.
The articles on the development philosophy behind Gnome Shell are indeed troubling, but I still think Gnome is getting much better with each release and I can't imagine using a different desktop environment. As a developer who is acutely aware of design and user experience patterns, so much so I can't bring myself to use "ugly" programs even if they might be useful (which is why I use Sublime for coding), Gnome satisfies all my urges. If I wasn't so vain I know I'd try a tiling manager like Xmonad or Awesome, and those can be customized to look decent but Gnome satisfies all my design needs out of the box (with a couple one-click-install extensions for functional enhancements.)
Linux for the hackery stuff and tools, Gnome Shell for a beautiful and elegant user interface. And isn't that why OS X has become so popular with hackers these days? A Gnome installation is pretty much that, but with more emphasis on the hacking and open source aspect.