After deciding to move back to KDE from Gnome, I also decided to give KDE 4.1 a try. I had attempted to use KDE 4.0 a while back and quickly ran away. It just wasn't ready for prime time.
I'm typing this in the visual goodness of KDE 4.1, although I still don't think it's ready, but it's very, very close.
KDE 4.1 is much better than 4.0 was. 4.0 was missing many configuration options and had strange errors when opening even a command shell (at least on Ubuntu).
KDE 4.0 is very polished. The interface is very eye pleasing and the menu is much easier to work with, although it does take some getting used to. The system automatically keeps your recently used in a separate section of the menu. Hovering over the different sections will reveal the contents, so it is very fast to get to your top used applications.
The desktop no longer houses files, although you can use the file viewer widget and point it at ~/Desktop. Speaking of widgets, I started using twitter recently and KDE 4.1 has a widget for that. The random picture widget, complete with drop shadow and rounded corners is very cool and the indispensable notes widget is present.
I still have KDE 3.5 installed and I went back to it for a minute or so. It seems so clunky and grainy compared to the new interface of KDE 4.1.
However, there is still much work to do:
- Screen savers are missing
- Some right click options, like extract here, are gone.
- I can't configure many options like the login manager (maybe have to launch it as root).
- Needs more configuration options. The menu for example (dual screens).
I suspect much of the missing or broken items have to do with the Kubuntu packages, but even so, KDE 4.1 is great for early adoption and non production use. I think I'm going to stick with it at home, but will stay with 3.5 at work.