Those who know me know that I'm a Linux fan (and a fan of Open Source software in general), so it's probably no surprise that I run a version of Linux on at least my personal computers. In fact, being a PHP developer lends itself very well to using Linux on my work computers, too. Previously, I used Ubuntu, a popular Debian-based version. I still would recommend Ubuntu to those looking to get their feet wet with Linux, but my own path and workflow needs took me away from it with their recent change to a user interface they call "Unity". I found the Mac-like Unity interface to be too hostile to my dual monitor setup, and at the time, Gnome 3 on it wasn't very stable, and I didn't really care for the other desktop UIs that are available. Since I actually liked Gnome 3, I decided to try a distribution that has it integrated. I was already somewhat familiar with the Red Hat family of operating systems from dabbling with it back before Red Hat proper became an enterprise solution, so Fedora (often referred to as Red Hat's testing ground) seemed like an obvious choice.
I started out with Fedora 15 ("Lovelock"), about two months before 16 ("Verne") came out. While there are quite a few changes under the hood, a typical user won't likely see much of a difference between the two versions. The average user is most likely to notice the new available wallpaper (a gorgeous homage to Fedora 16's namesake), the new options in the user menu, and perhaps that their Gnome 3 extensions no longer work.
Gnome 3, of course, is the big thing most users will notice when they first load up Lovelock or Verne. The Fedora and Gnome teams made/chose a good theme for the Gnome Shell default.
New users might find themselves faced with a bit of a learning curve as they adjust to the interface, since it's a little different from anything but Ubuntu's Unity. In my experience, though, it's nice to have things like the system tray (in Windows, where programs that run in the background, such as Dropbox, minimize/close to, usually in the lower right hand side, right by the clock) disappear unless the mouse is moved over its footprint.
Upgrading users who previously installed extensions may notice that they're all disabled. This is due to Verne updating to Gnome 3.2. While most of the extensions work fine when enabling them again, I found the User Theme Switcher and Alternative Shut Down extensions cause Gnome 3 to crash. A little looking provided me with a solution for Alternative Shut Down. It turns out that not having a user image selected for the user menu causes the crash. Simply click the user image in the user menu to select an image (for whatever reason that default image doesn't work) and save the change. You can then safely enable the Alternative Shutdown Menu extension. Several months later, this solution still works wonderfully.
I haven't found a solution to the user theme switcher extension, but I haven't really looked. I've so far just chalked it up to it needing an update in the Fedora repository. Since I haven't had a desire to change the theme, and it's still doable from Gnome Tweak Tool, I haven't worried about it.
Being an old Gnome user, and a mouse-heavy user at that, I had a little bit of a learning curve for some of Gnome's more widely-used features, such as the quick the search-and-find of applications. Once I learned that I could open any application I wanted simply by pressing Super (Windows) to activate the overlay, then typing in the name of the program I want (or some variation thereof, as there is a certain amount of fuzzy matching), the best match is automatically highlighted, so hitting Enter opens it. This makes it significantly quicker, and less clunky, to open applications.
Gnome also has a fun little feature where you simply throw your cursor up to the corner and it will open the overlay (saving you a click). This feature is nice and all...but on a dual-screen setup, this, by default, makes even the inside corner (where the two monitors meet, and there functionally isn't a corner) activate it (at least when the Gnome activity panel is on the right hand screen). This is mildly annoying, though for me, hasn't been enough to make me find a way to change it.
Automatic Service Starting
This isn't so much a difference between Lovelock and Verne as it is a difference between Ubuntu and Fedora, but for those, like me, who have switched, this can be a source of confusion. What I found was that some programs that, in Ubuntu, would be set to start automatically, don't necessarily do the same in Fedora. Specifically, I found that both MySQL Server and Nginx did not start automatically by default. This may not be an issue for most users, since most people don't run web and database servers on their computers, but it is something to keep in mind, and it is easily fixed with an addition to the Systemctl.
Yum vs Apt
Another change solely from the distro move, but I think it's worth commenting about. I've found I love Yum so much more than Apt. In Ubuntu, I found myself using apt-get to install and remove software, and installing Aptitude for searching and other functions, because it was easier than trying to remember "apt-cache" and the other apt-whatever tools (to me, remembering "apt-cache" was difficult, because I wouldn't think of searching a cache to find things to install, and apt-get is what I use to install things, so why can't it search?). Having all of the functionality in one application was quite the boon to my love of command-line-based software installation.
Yum can be a little bit slower to start, initially, because it has to go through and update all of its repositories, but once that's done, I find it very fast and powerful to use.
It's actually really hard for me to write more of a review, because once I learned the keyboard shortcuts for starting applications, Gnome, and the operating system as a whole, simply stays out of my way (and I work on it upwards of 12 hours a day). It's not uncommon for me to have 12 or more windows open, across my two monitors, and Fedora handles it all beautifully (99% of the time, any crashes are the fault of the application, and the crash is exclusive to said application).
All in all, I love Fedora, and would recommend it to anyone looking to try out a version of Linux, or looking for a version of Linux that is stable and does what they want, without getting in the way.