Yep, I'm back again already. It turns out I made one little mistake when complaining about Gnome 3 Fallback.
You know I said there was no way to customise the panel, because the right-click menu for adding applets had gone?
Well, it does exist - it's just not discoverable. You have to hold Alt and click on the panel, or something along those lines.
But in discovering this, I've found something else - panel applets are now aligned as left, right or center - and you don't get to choose which.
Hmm. An undiscoverable means of customising the panel, and less choices for the applets? Seems to me like I just reported one bit of good news and two bits of bad.
I'm trialling Mate, the Gnome 2 fork, though. While there are a few bugs still in it, and the project is definitely in need of helping hands in nearly all forms, it does provide what it says it does; a fork of Gnome 2 that is functional. I hope someday through a community effort it reaches the point of becoming a well-maintained alternative to those who dislike Gnome 3 and Shell, like those who favour KDE 3.5 over 4.x still.
If you like what the Mate project is doing, help out - at the time of writing this, as far as I can tell it's a project with only one person involved. Help out, help de-bug Mate and bring Gnome 2 back to the masses.
And who knows, maybe, just maybe Mate will surpass Gnome 3/Shell for the point of one of the most used desktops, and people will talk about KDE, XFCE and Mate instead of KDE, XFCE and Gnome.