cinnamon is the most popular DE at the moment. It is basically gnome 2 with a few tweaks, which is fine, nothing wrong with gnome 2.
If you want to try something different I would recommend pantheon and unity, in that order. Pantheon is a gnome 2 fork that has a lot of the best features of linux, with a few borrowed bits from other places. I have tried most of the DEs at least once and I prefer pantheon, in part because it has a really sleek aesthetic, and in part because, in my opinion, it does the best synthesis of desktop environments.
Unity is a conical invention. It tries to do its own thing, so if different is what you want, IMO unity is the most different thing out there.
Edited by mothergoose729 - 9/26/15 at 8:26pm