Hi Clem and everyone,
I've run across a 'nice' feature with Software Manager, allowing the user to uninstall the GUI completely (and yes, be left at the notorious command line). This is done without a single hint or notice given to the user of what would happen.
The trick works as follows:
1. open the Software Manager
2. mark cpp for removal (user thoughtflow: 'hey, I ain't a programmer - why should I need anything to do with a source code preprocessing on my machine?')
3. apply changes
4. see some strange error messages afterwards
5. reboot, be left at a bare command line and have fun
The result doesn't look too friendly for mid-skilled users, not speaking about the novice ones. I really doubt entering the password once again would turn the user aware of this caveat.
Synaptic gives a long list of what will be also uninstalled when trying to uninstall cpp. This looks like a working solution.
What my suggestion would be is to highlight the software that is dangerous to uninstall somehow. It is done in the mintUpgrade for stuff that might cause unstability - why not re-use the same UI pattern in SW Manager?
Cheers and good luck.