Originally posted by thenebula
In a never ending quest to create problems for myself by exploring the limits of curiosity and stupidity...
Are you sure you're not describing ME?
I do something along those lines just about every day...
Sorry you had this experience, but at least it doesn't hurt anything, it's just an inconvenience. I hope the good advice already given here will get you back and running in your favored environment!
And it could be that someday--like me--you'll tire of the clutter of the Gnome desktop and decide to experiment with a more spare (and FAR faster!) solution. I went from Gnome desktop to the Blackbox window manager and then to IceWM which I love. I experiment with different window managers including TWM (it's really not so bad once you get used to its minimalism) and so far am most impressed with IceWM (by far) followed by Blackbox (great but a little more minimal than I usually like...), fvwm2, Afterstep, Windowmaker. The last two are really too fancy for my taste. But I could live with any of those.
One of the many advantages of using Linux as compared to the most popular "operating system" is that we get to customize virtually every aspect of our desktop and workspace to our heart's content. This may seem a trivial advantage, but it isn't, because what you stare at and manipulate for hours every day makes a big difference in your ability to work with pleasure and efficiency.