Here is a screen shot of my current desktop. It is nothing amazing or even particularly interesting.
On the bottom left is an xterm that I have embedded into the background by a utility called Devilspie, I always have one open anyway, this way it is always there and available, but out of the way unless I need it. On the right hand side is a real time system readout rendered by Conky. I started with a blue color scheme, but I found that too difficult for my old eyes to read, so I switched to a green color scheme.
My chosen windows manager is Mate, I prefer it because I do not care for Gnome 3 and Mate is a fork of the now defunct Gnome 2. It is a bit ironic that one of the things I like about Linux is the flexibility of the windows managers, I can pretty much make it look anyway I want, and I usually make it look like Windows.