My Debian is only for work, there are no experiments. For my Kubuntu tests I compiled KDE 4.6 SC and bespin. The effort was worth it. Currently I use Compiz as window manager so I can use Emerald as window decorator and some effects what I miss in KDE. Too bad that AWN is not working properly. That would be great. Too bad that AWN not working properly. And the plasmoids not make me happy. GNOME will probably keep my preference.
Yes, I do agree. Nothing compares to Gnome! It's a super DE! But, I like Xfce too. I would like to switch to Xfce, but there are not so many good themes as for Gnome. I never tried LXDE too, but as I know from reviews it is most lite DE.