If you like the pretty and simple window manager, then I would like to recommend for you to try Enlightenment DR17, it is only a beta, but it has great potential.
If your application desires are beyond the current capabilities/features of opensource applications then you are always free to recommend changes to the development teams or better yet submit an update to the application which will add those capabilities.
Per my knowledge apt-spy currently points to the best debian mirrors, not ubuntu. I think it would be a good idea to contact cannonical to ask them to modify the the functionality of apt-spy within their distro to utilize a list of ubunut specific repos and even give an application option in gnome to allow users to trigger it through the gui.
By then again I use Slackware and don't touch gnome, gnome based apps or even the apt system, so an advanced ubuntu user is welcome to pitch in and correct me if necessary.