A few weeks ago, I switched from Ubuntu’s default Unity desktop to Xfce.
Why? Because hitting Alt-Tab to cycle through windows takes about a 1/4 sec for Unity to register. I cycle through windows literally hundreds of times a day. And that small but perceptible pause was driving me completely bonkers. Mind you, this is on my brand spanking new Core i5 laptop. Unacceptable!
What good are all the cute visual effects, glowing icons, and retracting launcher bars if Unity can’t smoothly perform the ONE function that defines what a desktop environment is supposed to be for: managing my application windows?!
In Xfce, Alt-Tab responds immediately.
There is also the small plus that the laptop battery seems to last a bit longer running Xfce than Unity. It’s not perfect, of course. Switching to and from an external display causes some issues. And I’d like a better volume control widget in the panel. But to me, these are minor annoyances.