> People who miss Gnome 2: There is Mate/xfce4 or (*gasp*) Plasma - traditional panel/WIMP desktops.
I do use Xfce, and MATE is... well, it's all right, it has all the same faults that GNOME 2 had back in the day. They irritated me then, and they still do. I want a vertical taskbar, and it doesn't work, 21 years after GNOME 2 was released.
But the point I was trying to get across was: these don't help you if you need fractional scaling and want to use your expensive HiDPI HDR high-refresh rate monitor. It in not reasonable to pay over £2000 for a laptop and then not be able to use its screen at its native abilities. No, setting the resolution down to 1280×960 or something is _not_ an acceptable answer.
My first draft of this story said that Xfce couldn't do it at all. Then, I did more digging, and I found a workaround -- but the point I was trying to convey was that it was not a good or acceptable workaround.
I do not want a tiling window manager. I am perfectly capable of working solely in a terminal: the first ½ dozen Unix computers I used did not have X11 at all. But we are ¼ of the way through the 21st century and I don't want to work like that any more. I want a rich, adaptable, configurable GUI.
But I also want to use my screen at its native resolution.
At present, that leaves me with about 3 desktops:
 GNOME, possibly with a lot of adaptations and extensions (e.g. ZorinOS).
 KDE, which I personally find to be a cluttered mess.
 Cinnamon, which is just about minimally acceptable.
Both KDE and Cinnamon are implementations of the Windows 9x desktop model, and TBH and IMHO, they are both not very good ones, visibly implemented by people who did not understand how the Windows model works in detail and in its more heavily-customised configurations.
Xfce does it better but doesn't work on Wayland yet. LXDE does it better and also doesn't work on Wayland. LXQt is not as good as either and *also* doesn't work on Wayland.
That was the main point of the story: that this obscure feature, fractional scaling, does not work well on X.org and most desktops can't handle it well, or at all. There *is* still choice, but if you need fractional scaling, there really is not very much choice, and none of the choices are very good ones.
Overall, I tend to agree with your point about GNOME, but you seemed to miss something I was trying to emphasize.