There are a number of posts doing the rounds on ways to overhaul or improve the Nautilus file manager:
And for OSX converts moving to Ubuntu. All we really need is Nautilus + Clutterflow.
Needless to say I am extremely excited by the development occuring in Nautilus, even if the approaching Gnome-Shell represents somewhat of a crisis. It will be at least another year before Gnome-Shell is anywhere near the kind of stability required in a maturing distribution like Ubuntu. I therefore encourage people to see Gnome-Shell as another desktop option rather than the solution for gnome and to continue with Nautilus development. I especially like designer Izo’s approach to journaling and there are lot of issues such as implementing a common set of mouse gestures across common multimedia applications which would facilitate productivity. Why should one bother saving multimedia files for instance? Why waste time in the file menu when we could be pointing and clicking? Just some of the issues which need common libraries and standards.