Pictured right is the new setup that I've recently started using for development. I've found it to be much, much faster and more memory efficient than Gnome. When I'm developing, sometimes I want to run several server and/or client instances, and I need as many resources as possible, ready for crazy, unexpected usages. Window Maker fits the bill.
As a high school student in the 80s, I lusted after NeXT boxes and the look of NeXTSTEP. I had a collection of glossy pamphlets from the company that were kept out on my desk for regular ogling. The best I could do though, was incessantly use the Macs at the University of Maine at Orono (where I spent as much time as possible). When, as a new Linux user in '96 or '97, I discovered AfterStep, I switched from the Motif-alike FVWM. Immediately after Window Maker was released, I choose it as my primary window manager.
Since then, the Linux distributions and operating systems I've used have been distractingly varied. However, after several excellent years with Mac OS X, I'm actually quite happy to be back in Linux. Though I have generally enjoyed Gnome, I was really unhappy with how it seemed run rather slow, with delayed transitions between applications and other similar operations. With a new machine having 4GB of RAM, this seemed rather unnecessary. (However, I do run some heavy services on my machine... databases, web servers, etc.)
When I switched to Window Maker, I was stunned. Number one, it still works on a modern distro! Secondly, it's super fast. Finally, I *love* the clean desktop (I'm not a fan of having the desktop background display the contents of a folder). Not only that, but a quick test drive of some Python dockapp-writing software left me with some fun ideas for side-projects I could write to even better augment my working environment. (For example, dock apps for NetworkManager, update notifications, and Rhythmbox.)
Now I'm ready to start playing with architecture emulation for some exploratory networking projects...