Yesterday, I took the plunge and forsook Gnome for KDE. Manja’s comment on yesterday’s post further encouraged me to make the change, and helped me when I needed an alternative to Kubuntu (which worked as a live CD, and even installed, but wouldn’t boot for anything after that) by pointing me toward Linux Mint. I tried the Gnome version in my search for a distro to replace Windows XP in my life, but it just wasn’t my style. The Mint KDE version, on the other hand, is really, really good.
My first impression of KDE 4 was that it was a very flexible, very slick, and incredibly powerful desktop environment. For me, the most impressive feature of KDE was that I didn’t need Compiz at all, because Kwin (the default KDE window manager) does everything I wanted Compiz to do, and then some — and Kwin was faster, too.
As far as KDE applications vs. Gnome applications, there are a few places that Gnome has better offerings (e.g., I can’t find an equivalent to the Gnome Activity Journal — yet), but KDE wins big with great apps like Amarok, Dolphin, KTorrent, Okular, Yaquake, even the System Monitor.
I think I’m going to be using KDE for a good long time.