So I finally decided to man up and put Ubuntu's Dapper Beta on my box. Sweet jesus is it ever nice. By now we've had cairo in GTK for a while, and the usual Human engine is starting to see some of the effects. The default theme is quite acceptable (after you change the colour scheme). It's also possible to apt-get install Banshee music player, which is basically Rhythmbox on steroids. Everything Rhythmbox does, but with a nicer gui, DAAP music share support out of the box, tag editing, and cover art display.
But by far the nicest addition is the availability of compiz window manager. I just put it on. It's a bit buggy, but nothing too serious. Finally, linux gets expose support (just hit F12). Plus wobbly windows, and a nice glass effect in the title bar of every window, a la windows vista.
Check it out. http://tyr_7be.tripod.com