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This is asked all the time and a quick search would find some answers for you.
But the real answer is this, you try several out, you'll find the one you like the best and find which one is most beneficial to you. We can't decide for you unless you try several or all of them out yourself.
trickykid isnt joking. the ultimate way to decide what is right for you is to decide for yourself. if your new to linux it may seem a bit daunting that you can't get "useful" opinions but you'll agree sooner or later that testing the water yourself will be the best path to take.
slashrsm, I've been through the same question myself in the last few days. Those are days I could have been learning the GUI that started by default when I installed the distro.
I'm greener than grass after a spring rain, and my response will probably upset long time users. Ask yourself, "Does it really matter?" According to what I'm getting told, we're both better off learning to use the command line and not the GUI anyway. Pick one at random and worry about what to do only if you don't like it. Otherwise you'll spend your time testing software, not working with it.
Okay old-timers, my shields are down. Commence firing the photon torpedos.
iceWM? Another option I hadn't even heard of until now. I can't keep up with them.
"You say you are lying, but if you say you are lying then you must be telling the truth! But you cannot tell the truth because everything you say is a lie! I am not programmed to respond in that area!"
Desktop Manager is eye candy.
Window manager is everything the desktop does without the eye candy (Which isn't always a bad thing, look at Fluxbox)
Two very well known Desktop Managers, obviously GNOME and KDE, the better of the two is surely GNOME, although if you have a good computer, KDE can run smoothly, and is probably what you want, KDE with eye candy turned up max is delicious.
GNOME is a great all 'round Desktop.
Window Managers, I'd be looking at something in the *Box series.
Start with Blackbox if you are interested by it, go to Fluxbox, it's simple.
Or just wait the few months until OpenBox 3 comes out, completely re-scripted, no longer using the Blackbox engine, or so someone tells me.
Not sure about XFCE is it Window manager or Desktop?
It's very nice either way. It's good because it uses just the right blend of added applications + You need to have a kind of grasp on the command line, so it can teach you, while you don't realise you are learning, 'tis a very good thing.
In reply to what Charlie said, I don't see why you'd get attacked for what you said.
It was perfectly legitamate, although you could have been meaning it a sarcastic way?
Heh, but obviously the command line is more powerful, and when you understand it, it's definately alot faster to use. Thus, my personal choice would be Window Managers.
However if your new to Linux, I might suggest starting off with KDE or GNOME, and slowly learning.