I tried Unity. I just couldn't get used to it on my 15" laptop. Every task I needed to use my computer for was slowed down by Unity. GNOME Shell was about the same. GNOME Panel, on the other hand, works nearly as good as classic GNOME 2. There are still a few minor issues, but for the most part, everything works like I'm used to.
So it's time to build a modified Ubuntu that uses GNOME Panel as the default interface. Unity is still installed if you want to switch back and forth and compare the two. But from what I hear, there are a lot of people like me that prefer the classic interface.
So here it is.