The best QA wins.
The abstract above is perhaps a little glib. After four or so months with KDE, our hero has moved back to straight Ubuntu even with Unity.
The move to KDE was motivated mostly by the fact that it (the Kubuntu flavor of Ubuntu, specifically) was the first installer that seemed to work reliably on this laptop.
Trouble is, I found all sorts of minor annoyances about KDE and they eventually took their toll.
KDE would not remember that I wanted the trackpad off. I had to run synclient TouchpadOff=1 after every reboot.
Everytime I connected an external monitor, I'd get two display setting widgets. One worked, the other I just had to dismiss.
For some reason, VMWare would not remember settings. I had to enable shared folders by hand in every VM every time.
KDE has two notions of working environments, multiple desktops and…something else. I never got the hang of the other thing.
There are probably a few other things. Most of them fixable, I'm sure. I understand KDE is very configurable, but I never “got into it.” No disrespect intended to my KDE loving brethren.
So I tried a Unity-flavored 14.04 install the other day. Between
the NVIDIA drivers and the
nox2apic kernel option, it all
seems just as fine and stable as the KDE flavor.
Discovering that Super-Tab pops up the Unity “type your command here” box a la Quicksilver, Alfred, and Gnome Do took away a big chunk of my Unity hate. Now I can just hide it and ignore it mostly.
I'm sure I'll be annoyed by this desktop too in time. I've been annoyed by all the others. But for today, I'm calling it an improvement.