Effective immediately, the new release of Ubuntu, 17.10, aka 'Artful Aardvark' has been released!
This release will be supported for 9 months (until 2018) for Long Term Support, stick with release 16.04, instead.
Official flavors (e.g. Kubuntu) are also released.
See the above release notes for a full list of changes and where you can get a copy.
[Full disclosure: the majority of SoylentNews' servers run Ubuntu 16.04 LTS though we have taken steps towards moving to Gentoo.]
The customized version of GNOME that Ubuntu 17.10 uses is very much in the mould of the (now defunct) Unity desktop, so it won't be to everyone's tastes.
Nobody should have to spend hours trying to tweek-and-eke basic functionality out of their user interface.
Then don't. It's fine in its default configuration. There's nothing "cluttered and counterintuitive" about KDE. Maybe a Mac would be more to your liking.