Yes gnome2 is an alternative. My system is a 1gig athlon with 512 mg ram and nautilus is slow on it. At least compared to windows explorer or gmc its slow, so I use rox filer.
Metacity is missing features a good window manager should have most notably horizontal and vertical maximization and skip window list features.
Sawfish the other gnome2 alternative isnt stable on any system that Ive ever run it on and windows seem to want to stick to the root window.
Fluxbox is a great window manager and i applaud its developers, however it too is lacking an important feature, a taskbar window list and pager. (is there a skip window list in fluxbox?) also getting to the window list in fluxbox entails a desktop click and wading through a menu. I want the window list for my current desk top available with one click or a mouse move.
I guess my real problem with gnome2 is that the file manager is bloated and slow, compared to gmc and that it doesnt work with enlightenment.
gnome1 with enlightenment, was a great interface, i had been using it since 0.60 and myabe i got spoiled by enlightenments speed and wealth of features.
EDIT: some of my more egregious spelling errors