I especially don't like the large amounts of padding around every object. I get the feeling that having 100px buttons is like giving me safety scissors. Granted, it probably helps people who are just learning how to use a mouse, but at some point we outgrow that and should be given real scissors.
It makes me feel like I'm playing with a toy instead of a real operating system. Of course, this is all very subjective and I'm sure there are just as many people who feel the opposite.
At some point, I was playing around with what *I* would like an application in GNOME to look like and chose Nautilus. Monday I saw David Siegel's blog post about his redesign of Nautilus, and I was inspired to finish mine.
I am definitely not an artist, and I may be the only person who finds this appealing, but I would like Nautilus (and GNOME) to look something more like this:
(just a mockup)
It removes a lot of (IMO) wasted space, while being more visually pleasing. It feels like it's of a higher quality than the current look.
Of course, giving actual artists the ability to easily theme GTK is probably the better route. I can't wait to see what jimmac can do with a fully functioning css based theming system. :)