I feel the same, Ubuntu MATE is rock solid awesome.
The first Linux I dabbled with was RFed Hat 5.0. And when it comes to painful, that era was painful with quirky installations, etc. I switched to Apple in 2003 and finally abandoned them in 2013. My aging computers need to be replaced, but I can't justify giving Apple more money for what they do.
I started looking for distributions that were easy on my aging material. Mint was good, so were the other light and nimble ones, but MATE does it all and better.
I also need to have something that can handle the light multimedia tasks I ask of it. Video editing, watching Netflix, writing my articles, and recording my radio and podcast shows. Ubuntu MATE gave me that with a terrific environment.
I found Ubuntu MATE and I'm not going anywhere.
And as luck would have it, I not only like mate a lot, but I am drinking some at this very moment!!!