i joined the linux world something like 3 months ago.
tried ubuntu like any other noob out there but totally disliked unity, so i was about to reinstall win7 after just 2 days when i read about linux mint.
tried lm11 and i liked gnome2.
then lm12 came out and i tried it. didn't like gnome3 due to the double panel (i find it useless and space consuming) and the problems with ati drivers.
mate was good but it's pratically still an alpha. was really impressed with cinnamon, totally liked it untill 1.3 that borked my desktop.
now i'm on kde and loving it too
so basically i quite like any de (except mgse, but it will not be mainteined so no problem there). gnome2 is dead so i'm not counting it. mate is in alpha\beta\whatever so i don't feel like using it yet. same story for cinnamon (but i patiently waiting for it since i enjoied it very much untill 1.3).
i'm using kde since it's the only full and stable de atm on linux mint, so my vote goes there.
however, for me, the "battle" will be between cinnamon and kde when lm13 will be released