I've just installed Mint 12 main edition on my new laptop (HP Pavilion g6) using Mint4win to try it out. I see the laptop's 64-bit and my live CD is 32-bit, I don't know if that makes a difference.
After investigating a graphics problem and discovering I had to edit the boot options by adding "no modeset", I finally got Lisa installed, but I don't know what version of the desktop I've got. It has dark grey panels top and bottom and menus for "Applications" and "Places" in the top left-hand corner. Is this MATE? If so, where can I find a tutorial on how to customise it? Or is this some kind of fallback option? I ran the CD as a live session on my old laptop and got Gnome 3 with MGSE.