Keeping in mind that as for as it goes Ubuntu is doing their damnest to push Unity despite it being unpopular among most users. The same can be said with Gnome Shell in Gnome 3. The gnome-panel application in Gnome 3 is also extremely limited. MATE and Cinnamon are both extremely immature options and both don't seem to be getting the support they need to be viable options.
Oddly enough Avant Windows Navigator seems to provide the solution even if its not as robust as I would like.
AWN has the ability to give me the controls I want in, for the most part, the way I want. Plus, thanks to the Zorin team, I have the use of GnoMenu again.
So yes I can my show support for my American Football team again this year. Of course I had to modify the XML code to make it work with the command set for Zorin and the modifications I made.
Originally I had removed gnome-panel but I had to reinstall it in order to get alacarte to work correctly so I could edit menu entries. This is an Ubuntu mod as alacarte is deprecated by the Gnome development team. Since there is no menu editor replacement as of yet Canonical built a work around solution to keep alacarte usable for the time being.
Of course I like having a system monitor up and going. Gkrellm has been my choice for several years because of its small initial footprint and many options. It really doesn't work well with Unity or Gnome-Shell but does very well in my current setup.
I configured Compiz-Fusion to have the cube. I also compiled and installed Emerald to handle my windows decorations.
So now the over all system configuration is the closest I have ever gotten since 12.04 was released and yes, I plan to stay with it as long as I can with Zorin.