After distro-hopping for the better part of the past decade, I ended up returning to Ubuntu, the distro many Linux users love to hate. Like many Ubuntu users, I didn't like Unity at first either, but I decided to give it a chance and found that it grows on you. In my opinion it's also more polished than other DEs I've used. That said, Unity did not run as fast or as well on my aging System76 laptop as it does on my Desktop PC.
After reading positive reviews of both Ubuntu MATE (16.04 and 16.10) and Mint MATE 18.0, I decided to test both in VirtualBox. To my surprise, Ubuntu MATE 16.04 used less resources and was more responsive than 16.10 and Mint 18.0, so I installed it on my laptop, configured it the with Munity, and like it so much that I've considered installing it on my desktop PC as well.
To the devs and everyone who have contributed to Ubuntu MATE, thank you for this great DE!