I logged into an old version of ubuntu the other day and was struck by how much I preferred it.
Tips to take into a new version. Use droid sans 10 for all fonts except fixed width, which should be monospace 10.
The battery icon used to have an entry called 'Power History' which I think was part of gnome-power-manager. That was really useful but it's gone.
Use the dust sand theme and a plain green background, panels at the side so as not to take up too much space.
Maybe it's time to go back to debian.
sudo apt-get install ttf-droid