I actually have to do paid work on my laptop, so it needs to be as reliable and as fast as possible.I was planning to abandon Ubuntu at all, and choose a lightweight alternative, probably one that is based on Ubuntu. Then I realized Ubuntu Precise Pangolin is supported up to 2017, so I thought I'll give it a try before completely saying good-bye to Ubuntu.
Ubuntu Trusty with gnome session flashback was great. Really. The only little tiny problem was that it lasted only until I had to really depend on it because of my job. My job, that is 99% spreadsheet and internet browser work. Opening 10-20 chrome windows during a single search process takes all the memory, and freezes the system. Firefox is not really that better than chrome in memory usage. And Libreoffice... the spreadsheet I work with is like 2000 rows by 40 columns data and another 6 sheets of database queries made with functions. Libreoffice just could not handle this. It was terribly slow, lagging when scrolling, saving took up to a minute, and all 4.x versions crashed regularly.
No, this is not something anyone would recommend to do your job on. Not in 2015.
I set up a similar environment as on Trusty. In Precise, it is
gnome-session-fallbackthat gives back the Gnome2 environment. It can be downloaded from Synaptic Package Manager, which can be downloaded with the
sudo apt-get install synapticcommand in the Terminal, which can be opened with the Ctrl+Alt+T command.