When LMDE moved to Gnome 3, I didn't want to run Shell nor did I trust the new Cinnamon and MATE. So, I installed the full version of KDE over the latest LMDE. I'm very happy I did and love it.
Alas, I've had hardware problems (dying mobo) and had/got to rebuild my computer. This time I decided to try LM 13 Maya in KDE. I was very happy with it, as long as I didn't have to reboot. I ran into that problem that Maya has with some mobos and not building GRUB right. I tried over and over, following all the suggestions in all the forums here. Alas, it would not reliably find drives or boot. [For reference, my new mobo is the Asus P8H77-M PRO.]
I finally gave up and installed LMDE Xfce and put KDE-full on top of that. I have had absolutely none of those problem. It installed beautifully and reboots flawlessly. Now I have a much smaller Gnome base, as I don't need all that Shell or Cinnamon stuff that I won't be using. KDE runs just fine on top of Xfce. Yes, there are a very few bits of Xfce showing up through KDE that I didn't see in Maya KDE, but it doesn't bother me.
Since this solution (or not) is one I didn't find in these forums, I thought I'd put my story out here that might help others.