6 months to develop it was no where near long enough. I know, it was in the netbook version first, but it was a dog on that.
What they should have done is have unity at RC quality by 11.04. They could have released it parallel to the last version to serve gnome 2.x. and tested and improved it for the whole 6 months and present it as "new" for 11.10 with very few other changes. But canonical have always had a shoot first ask questions later approach.
What is a real shame is all those things we've been promised in ubuntu that have never happened. Things like power management, which if done properly could have made Ubuntu a really good choice on notebooks. Also a new theme. Something about a linux distro being purple is just stupid. (let's be honest, 99% of the users are 20-40 males, purple not being the most heterosexual colour..)
Seems it's becoming time to look at derivatives of the derivative. Ubuntu was great, but unity is just sloppy.