The major consideration for me is 'Cinnamon 2.0' - the Gnome replacement desktop with Linux Mint. Cinnamon 2.0 has a lot of features and fixes that I have been looking forward to that were not pushed down. The other major piece of software I am looking for is a good desktop search tool.
If you are already running Linux Mint with a prior version of Cinnamon, it will not be upgraded automatically to 2.0. You can upgrade the following way:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stableThen add the following to /etc/apt/preferences
Package: *Do a apt-get update, and apt-get dist-upgrade.
Pin: release o=LP-PPA-gwendal-lebihan-dev-cinnamon-stable
For me on Linux Mint 14, the package 'mint-translations' did not want to install, so I had to re-run apt-get dist-upgrade with '-f'.
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -fOnce installed, reboot.
On reboot the theme and background are changed, but all my settings were saved. Even conky still worked fine. Date and time settings were reset, however, and there is no app to change them back. Time and calendar still work, but you have to manually configure them.
The first thing I noticed, however, is that Cinnamon 2.0's default settings are not as pretty as 1.8. To change it back to Mint's old Cinnamon look (which is more sleek IMO), right click on menu -> 'system settings' -> 'themes' -> 'other settings tab'. From there, I changed the controls, icons, etc. to 'Mint-X'. From the 'installed' tab, you can also change the applied theme.
Overall Cinnamon 2.0 is much more responsive than 1.8. Even without reformatting I am seeing noticeably better performance. The look and feel is a bit more clean and polished.