I have been running the cinnamon desktop on linux mint installed on an HP laptop to develop PHP & java apps. I have found it to be extremely stable and very fast. Compile times are similar to any other operating system. Desktop switching is fast. For software development on the LAMP stack or for android development using eclipse this is my favorite configuration. Of course if I have to work on C# then there is nothing better than Visual Studio 2010 on Windows 7... or for the newest apps Visual Studio 20122010 on Windows 8. Oddly enough, the Win8/VS2012 combination is the least stable IMHO and experience.
As I stated previously, Mileage May Vary. Glad it works for you, however it does not for Me. The one most critical program that I simply must have, TurboCAD, does not come in a Linux flavour, and the free demo version locks up under Wine. By that I mean PREVIOUS versions of the proggie (not Wine) -the newest ones I bought do not even run at all. Thankfully, v4 of the CAD program (not the demo) runs under it ok for the most part, but considering the fact that I have several years worth of schematics I need to work with and I have to go with a distro that runs at least a version that can open the saved files.
Add in the need to run Spice(TM) simulations on the schematics, mechanical drawings imported to another program to add motion to them in more than one dimension, and now adding the ability to also add material strength and run stress-analysis tests on the mechanical assemblies and there just is no getting away from certain needs. The ability to at least open and continue work on the beginning drawings is critcal for whatever Linux OS I decide to go with.