So spot on in so many ways!
If you know anything of me or the people I have spoken with, I am one of the few proponents of keeping brown. Brown is a beautiful tone when, as you stated, handled correctly.
What cracks me up is that we have the buffoonery that believes shifting a tone will yield results. It won’t. It is about design. We can be bland tepid mediocre in any colour. Look to SUSE if you need further proof.
What is even more hilarious is the fact that – lo and behold – brown is back to chic. Nike? Hell yes. KSwiss? Yes. Dakine? Yep, there too. Quicksilver? What do you know? If you have any respect for the design standards at Starbucks, you would be a fool to not notice the craftsmanship application of earthen tones…
About the only thing I disagree with you on is your “Karmic is the first release that had input from any professional designers”. You do realize that Mr. Shuttleworth has paid for all of the art and design work up to this point as well? This includes but isn’t limited to the shirtless model wallpaper (http://davyd.ucc.asn.au/images/ubuntu-desktop-pr0n.png), the Humanity glossy rounded icon set, the default wallpapers (exceptions being Hardy and Intrepid), the CD covers, etc.
So the nasty word ‘professional’ rears its head again. Surprise! It’s all pro all the way! Do we expect any different now? ;)
Great blog. Blog more. Period.