Gotta agree. You notice it is the people generally that have never had to maintain a Linux system or have never used a Linux desktop for an extended period that have the most to say about how wonderful it is.
I myself have been in dependency hell and have also had to deal with the erratic desktops (both KDE and Gnome). They are both user-unfriendly if you ask me. I don't expect them to be like Windows but they don't even stick to any way of doing things.. I mean the file open/save dialogs are rarely the same between three applications.
I also find the desktop slow to react to my needs, as in if I click something I have to wait a few seconds for it to react on a high speed machine which gets under my skin.
The graphics do look nice.. but I don't care about graphics, I care about usability and speed. Or at least speed up to a point.
It is almost impossible to setup your graphical desktop without opening a shell at least once.