I started to consider all of the things I do on my laptop now that I've moved to Fedora 12 (an excellent, simple and well crafted release). I'm following my own advice, considering what I want and eliminating what I don't.
I tested the newest version of KDE 4 and found it to be far beyond the minimum of my computing requirements. It's so fancy that the desktop icons are sectioned off into their own little widget. There's even a dedicated cashew like icon in the corner of the screen that does nothing but waits for you to click to add more widgets to your screen. Useless, needless clutter.
I'm still in Gnome, but I'm learning slowly so that I can configure a desktop without its help. The main hurdle is still Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi support is still lacking outside of the usual Network Manager that Red Hat developed, so moving to Awesome would require firing that nasty daemon up every so often.
To alleviate my horror at using such a bloated Gnome desktop, I strived for clean and neat - a system that Gnome does not fight against. My directories are organized, my menus display only three programs (Firefox, the Terminal, and gedit), and my icons and bars are consolidated into one. Every day I make Gnome smaller and smaller.
My short term goals are:
-delete one program from my computer every day (I have a lot hidden in that mess, and I still have yet to clean up after KDE 4)
My long term goals are:
-consolidate my programs into a select four or five
-stop using Windows Vista entirely (at the moment, I use it only for for syncing my iPod nano)
We shall see where my path leads.