I believe this is a failure to understand the importance of usability. A cube mapped desktop or window flip may have some initial attraction but its appeal will quickly fade and it has near zero usability advantages.
Interestingly, I think this presentation on digital comics by Scott McCloud shows great usability ideas. Highly recommended.
I especially liked the part of the movie where the virtualized instance of Windows XP ran pretty smooth, but the native OS w/Compiz running on the bare metal lagged most of the time. I know for a fact from using Ubuntu 10.04 that it really isn't as laggy
as the video indicates -- it's actually quite smooth with all of the effects -- I just thought the fact that this video was judged adequate to put on YouTube is humorous -- and if I didn't know better and was only exposed to this video, I'd stay the hell away