|Main Screen + Linux Mint Menu|
After booting I was greeted not by a nice boot splash but by a scrolling wall of text, which isn't a huge deal. Also, I couldn't really see what the notifications looked like right away because no notifications came up by themselves, but looking at the settings showed that they still look like the Notify-OSD notifications in Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based Linux Mint, which I like.
|Mozilla Firefox + LibreOffice Writer|
Because Mupen64Plus 1.5 is not supported by anything anymore, I installed Mupen64Plus 2.0 from the repositories through the Synaptic Package Manager, and then I downloaded and installed the M64Py GUI. M64Py worked even better than the last time I tried it because my controller configuration changes persisted, though there was a tiny bit of lag that persisted when playing games too.
Installing Compiz is now even easier than before. I followed instructions here, and it worked right away. All I had to do was set the desired plugins in the CompizConfig Settings Manager and then start the Compiz Fusion Icon and tell it to switch to Compiz, and it did that. It even automatically kept the "Mint-X" window decoration too. There were however some other issues in that for some reason I couldn't change the icon theme or the window decoration once Compiz got running, even with GConf-Editor or DConf-Editor; I was able to change the GTK+ theme just fine though.
|Caja + Eye Of MATE + Desktop Cube|
Other than that, the experience was almost identical to last time. There were new plusses and new minuses, but there were a few more of the former than the latter, and the few new minuses there were certainly were not showstoppers by any means. Hence, I'd feel even better now about both recommending it to newbies & more experienced users as well as using it for my own computer if I need to change distributions for whatever reason.
You can get it here.