Finally bought a new, faster machine. Installed Ubuntu 12.04 (two other machines already using Lucid 10.04).
I spent several hours Monday evening trying to set up the new OS to do the work of my primary Lucid and gave in! Terrible OS if you use a lot of apps continually throughout the day! Unity? I don't think so.
I generally have about 20 window tabs on the bottom taskbar - move mouse, click, there's the app/window I want. I simply could not find out how to arrange that on 12.04. Looked for a gnome replacement interface and found only details of how to recompile the OS to accomplish it. No!
There is a reason why most OS's have menus and task bars. The research was done a few decades ago and in my opinion it still holds up (mobiles being exceptions here).
Tuesday afternoon I looked at the Mint web site, downloaded Maya Mate and tried it as a live DVD. A couple of hours later I installed Mint, wiping ubuntu completely from the new machine.
I could really do with a top taskbar to take the menus and fixed icons away from the bottom bar (I could do with mnore space) but I can live with it. I like the Menu itself, now I'm used to it, and installation from the menu beats the Software Manager except when one is uncertain of the app's name (Software Manager is not as good as Lucid's!). And the underlying ubuntu / gnome / kde apps repository helps me install to my old Lucid standard. So far it's taken about ten hours and I expect another ten before I have the new machine installed to the Lucid (and earlier!) pattern, but it usually takes me best part of a week to get a new machine working to my preferences.
Many thanks to those in this forum who, over the past year-ish, have advocated Mint! Respect! :)
For reference, my primary apps are Gnome RDP (3 or 4 instances), three versions of network tools/calculators, Thunderbird and Quicknotes, several instances of Kate, gedit, at least one Nautilus and half a dozen or more Firefox windows. Add extras depending on current activities, such as VLC, Audacity, video conversion utils and such-like, with seasoning to taste, as they say.