Race to the bottom
My first experience of Linux was Red Hat something-or-other, "Manhattan" I think, which was Gnome 2. I was easily impressed, coming from an Ultrix on DEC background, so it's hard to say how objectively good it really was, but it got the job done. Anyway, I quickly got used to it.
Years later, along came the abomination of Gnome 3. I hated it. It seemed to be in a permanent alpha state, and the paradigms had shifted all the way into an alternate universe, ruled by an insular "Do-ocracy" that viewed the actual users as "the peanut gallery". To this day I still have no idea what they're trying to accomplish, but whatever it is it's ugly and dysfunctional.
What I didn't notice at the time, because I wasn't really paying much attention, was the link between Gnome, Red Hat, freedesktop.org and the Poettering cabal, featuring mostly the same people with the same mysterious agenda. The assassination of the usr partition, the binary-blobification of syslog, the monolithic consolidation of init into something comparable to a separate OS in its own right (including its own DNS resolver, apparently), all symptomatic of this hostile takeover, seemingly coordinated between ostensibly separate groups but which was in fact just one, almost like a patent troll operating many shell companies.
For that reason alone, I will never use Gnome. Not so much because I simply don't like it as a DE, but more because there's a wider agenda there that I find quite sinister, and which is certainly in conflict with every engineering principle I hold dear. It's also an agenda with a violently anti-choice mentality, which should set alarm bells ringing.