I've been using Linux for almost 20 years now and I often become rather complacent and forget to keep up with new developments in available programs.
While I frequently swap between 'types' of a particular Linux distribution, and occasionally between distributions themselves, I have pretty well settled on Mint these days. And after KDE became unstable enough to lose a lot of my stuff, I decided to play around once more with the light weight XFCE and LXDE variants of MINT 17.
Now I have discovered serious problems with LXDE and it looks like I will be settling on XFCE until a KDE returns to some sort of stability.
Now XFCE has its own particular set of problems but most of them can be overcome. Things like miniscule thumbnails can be fixed by making Dolphin and Konqueror your file manager of choice.
Once you do that however, you lose desktop integration for things like auto mounted file systems simply appearing on the desktop. Not to worry. They will appear in the 'Places' pane in Dolphin and clicking on them opens them. If you like to 'Safely remove' a drive, something I still do, then simply right click the drive in 'Places' and choose to Safely Remove it.
You also lose the working Trash Can. But again, right clicking 'Trash' in Places lets you Empty Trash. And if there is stuff in the Trash Can it should have a little red marker next to the Trash icon in Places.
Docky, if you use it, will probably stop working after you use Synaptic. Googling it shows it is a common complaint. I created a transparent panel on the right edge of my screen, which auto hides. In it I put a launcher for Docky. Now, after using Synaptic or Software manager, I simply click the icon in that panel and Docky loads again. Saves messing around opening menus and it is hidden unless I need it anyway.
After I got rid of GNOME stuff like nautilus, I found the Desktop Settings Wallpaper manager would not let me select files any more. It will let me select and open folders, just won;t let me select the files in a folder.
For now I have got around that by using the wallpaper changer. It remembered the last folder I used, so all I do is drop a few images into that folder and set it to change every 3 seconds. As soon as the picture I want comes up I cancel changing.
Most other things are working. Dual monitors and the like. Networking and VPN were ok to set up and downloads over NBN are in the order of 3 MB per second. Sometimes using VPN and the right servers I can get sustained downloads of more than 5MB/s which equates to getting 40 out of my 25/5 connection.