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Gnome feels much faster with video hardware that supports acceleration of the Render extension, it also is noticably faster when using a compositing manager, of course this results in more instability of X.
Its funny that you say that, because its Gnome (not XFCE or KDE) that refuses to add a decent composite manager built into its window manager (metacity). All the other major DE's has this.
Because of this, I plan to move to KDE when 3.5 comes (aka with a more stable compmgr) despite using Gnome for a year. I'm working now to make KDE look more like Gnome now. Gnome's stance on hardware acceration sucks, I wish they didn't punish those of us with Nvidia cards just because our drivers are closed and because no other cards can do it yet.
Your point is a very weak one.