hate that mouse
I use gnome + Ion3 for my desktop.
It does have a float environment for those pesky apps like The Gimp. It also has a system for windows that are asking for attention -- a simple text notification appears in the top of my current frame and I can jump to the requesting window with Alt-k-k... handy for using Gaim. I can take advantage of it's features, but keep it off screen and get to the message when I'm good and ready.
I just wish there were fewer apps that required a mouse. I don't mind using a GTK app at all if it has sensible hot-keys; but there are things like text-selection that are rather difficult in apps like Firefox.
... speaking of firefox, I also use the "Mouseless Browsing" add-on. Very handy.
If there were a modern gui browser with vim-like key bindings I'd be in heaven.
Anyway... it's been a rather natural progression to Ion3 for me. I started using the mouse for most things on a GUI wm... until I found the hot-keys to do things faster. Then I'd find most of the hot-keys and find it much faster than using the mouse; but would still be forced to use it for some tasks. Then I had enough and wanted something that used the keyboard exclusively.
It's much easier to keep your hands in one place on your desk. It's also faster to type what you want rather than hunt and peck with a pointer. I loathe to think of all the times I mistakenly performed some action because I "missed" with my mouse and clicked something else by accident. Almost never happens with Ion3 (except maybe when managing frames on-the-fly. You can split horizontally or vertically; but I haven't figured out how to do more complex operations like splitting two windows in a frame into two frames).
Either way; good article. I hope to see development in this area continue. I'm certainly a fan of a good interface. The desktop metaphor is just too cumbersome and slow after a certain critical level of understanding is reached by the user.