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Try Kubuntu, its not a spin off of ubuntu, it is ubuntu, simply using the KDE GUI instead of Unity or Gnome. Try it, you will love it.
Those assertions might need something to back them up.
Why is it Kubuntu better than Ubuntu?
(and I'm a KDE guys, I do not like gnome at all but your post seems...mmm... "religious"? ;) )
Gnome3 is ridiculous, seemed nice until I noticed different simple things are difficult to find, like restarting or shutting down your system for example. Also in my own experience, Gnome3 is having difficulty with my ATI Card and can only be used in "Fall back" mode which is annoying, however surprisingly more useful.
Unity is new so I do not trust it, I think Canonical needs to focus on Ubuntu and let KDE/Gnome handle the GUIs but we'll see what happens. Unity isn't bad, its just new, and Gnome 3 followed a surprisingly similar style to it, so if you do not like one you probably don't like the other, leaving only KDE left.
Kubuntu instead of Ubuntu then switching to KDE because its easy and this post was focused towards new users, no reason to add in extra steps anyway.
Also if your like me and use a dual boot system at home with Windows and Ubuntu, using windows 7 and Kubuntu makes it a lot easier on your brain finding things because its setup they are very similar.