I can see how the wider appeal may be tempting to follow, but there is a smaller- and much more influential- group beyond the mainstream. These people tend to stress their systems(as in my case with 3d CAD rendering[which needs much better support under Linux]).
I may be an exception to the general/intended user of Linux Mint, maybe not. I'm not going to spend a lot of money on hardware, just so I can run software under a proprietary OS, when I can load a GNU OS which will use the resources of my hardware much more efficiently(by factors, when you start working with x,y, and
z). This so
true that I can run a composited desktop environment, run a simulation program, and display multiple workspaces in real-time.
Which leads us, inevitably, back to the very thing I am actually complaining about. The splintering of Linux. I've been doing some exploring(
Ok, cheating on 'me lady'), and I have realized there are some really great opensource softwares- available by default- on other OS's. For instance, Boxee(available, by default, on Fedora18Gnome3.6.x.c.v.e.s.s.L.O.L.) PCLinuxOSFullMonty has a fully functioning Netflix application, by default. PCLOSFM also uses the KDE. Which is exactly what brought me back to Mint. PCLOSFM isn't quite ready for the primetime. But, as is typical, Mint does have a DE which is ready for primetime. KDE.
Mate(especially Mate), and Cinnamon have some maturing to do. No doubt, as these two projects continue to evolve, I will begin exploring them in the future.