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I'm not sure I'd call MDI an improvement. Ever. For anything. My window manager is smarter than whatever they will write. At least they're not taking the usable mode away...
Your window manager probably but most people complaining are running Windows, and there I understand that managing groups of windows can be a PITA in serious need of the MDI workaround.
What web browser are you using again? Not one of those awful MDI ones I presume?
LOL. I have tried to like GIMP without the MDI, and no matter which window manager I use it all goes to crap when I have multiple desktops. Inevitably I will end up with my tools on one desktop and the image on the other....very annoying. Or, one little toolbar gets moved to another desktop and I can't find it without clicking around.
You're doing it wrong, or just lying.
This has never, ever been an issue for me. Multiple desktops? I have 32 of them. I gimp on one, just one, and never have a problem like you describe.
I also use Enlightenment, which is a good window manager. On Windows the gimp is a pain because Windows sucks for managing windows (ironic!) But, even there I would prefer not to have an MDI... especially one where I cannot work on two or three images side by side!