I have been using Gnome 2.8 for a couple of weeks now, and I must say that it is getting really good. Gnome was the first window manager I used when I started using Linux, but I soon became hooked on more lightweight alternatives such as Fluxbox and XFce4, as I did not think that Gnome offered that much to compensate for its relative slowness.
But since I got my laptop, I have grown tired of having to do everything manually whenever the environment changes. And with the advent of Ubuntu it is really a snap.
I honestly do think that it is a way better working environment than Windows. It still has a lot to do to catch up with Mac OSX, but when I look at what is happening over at Planet Gnome I strongly believe that they will eventually get there.