I upgraded my laptop to Ubuntu 11 today, but I should have first tried a liveCD or something. The new "Unity" UI is a complete and unmitigated disaster. Maybe it would work ok on a little netbook or a tablet or something, but it's atrocious on a "real" computer. Anyway, here's what I've done to get myself back to a working, sane interface, should anybody else find themselves as shocked and horrified as I did:
1) Login with "Ubuntu Classic" instead of the new default. Duh.
2) Change Audacious's horrifying new interface back to winamp-style. Also duh.
3) Turn off Compiz's evil/disruptive/wrong/horrible "Grid" plugin.
(`apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager` to do so)
4) Get rid of the clumsy new "overlay" scrollbar.
(echo “export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0″ >/etc/X11/Xsession.d/80properscrollbars)
5) Not technically an Ubuntu thing, but fix FireFox's status bar.
There was also some cleanup to do with my toolbar, but it was pretty minor and the new layout actually has less clutter. Anyway, in the words of Dr. Zoidberg, "Life was bad, but now it's good! Forever!"