I never settle with any GUI out of the box though, which makes the distro irrelevant in that respect there's always something i have to change, cause it either bugs me, i need something to tinker with or i need to give it it's own personality
I think that's a pretty good description of my view. Rather than wondering what desktop looks the best, I think it's best to think about what is easiest to configure how you want. Personally I like fluxbox since the config files are pretty straight forward, and it lets me have a good looking simple desktop without much fuss.
Forgot to mention source for a lot of good add-ons to customize your desktop is kde-look
also has some cool artwork for wallpapers