Awesome is a dynamic windows manager,
a highly configurable, next generation framework window managerafter what's been written on the site. It's nice and it works for me most of the time for most of the kind of tasks I usually do. I have not hyperconfigured it yet, and maybe I won't do it in a near future; though, it already has won the battle with GNOME3 and its shell.
For what's missing as a desktop environment, I plan to use XFCE4 apps — already using always its power manager. As helper for wired and wireless connection I use nm-applet. There's a graphical oddness in the tray strip between the icons of these two apps: they seem too close. Anyway, a little graphical flaw which is nothing compared to usability flaw of GNOME3 (but I have to admit that I haven't checked if they solved some of them… I suspect the answer is simply no).
Even if I usually use thunar as file manager, sometimes I stick to nautilus, which is a little bit better with respect to some feature — in particular I had problems with plugging new USB devices, where Nautilus wins… thus it seems I need to keep some GNOME desktop environment feature(s).
To control volume, xfce4-volumed, but it puts no icon in the tray… I get used to keep alsamixer open in a shell in a sort of “desktop control tag” (namely, the tag associated to Win+1 by default).
And so on.
Even if not widely configured to be optimal for my everyday usage, it already fits my need a lot better, and I've realized I like very much tiled window manager, even if I have not managed yet to be proficient in using a multiwindowed application as The GIMP.
For sure, I will never go back to GNOME, unless they revert to a more sane environment and fix the coarse flaws I've already partly told about in a previous post. Instead, XFCE4 and LXDE are two aspirants after Awesome… but I think I will stay with this for a long time.