Tim, I can’t think of a better example than the recent remote control comparison in Job’s new iMac introduction. Both of these devices function as a remote control of a media PC.
The one on the left is designed around a key task. The other gives you “everything at your finger tips” (it’s “feature packed”). I have such a remote on my TV set. I can tell from the chipped paint that the only keys I actually use are the power, volume and channel seek buttons.
So I’m not sure it’s a bad thing that a text editor in gnome doesn’t try to be an e-mail client and a file browser doesn’t render webpages…
The reason I love GNOME is the concentration on the key task and making sure that additional icing on the cake doesn’t make the key task harder to achieve. It’s great there is choice for people who want everything at their fingertips though.