Another fad with Linux enthusiasts these days is the Compiz Window manager. Coupled with an X Server architecture like the Xgl or AIGLX, you can get some awesome graphic effects on the Linux desktop.
I downloaded and installed the Xgl and Compiz applications from the quinnstorms repository as given in this thread. I followed the second how-to to install it as another desktop session, so that I can revert to metacity if I want to use the normal desktop. It took almost an hour to set everything up. Once I rebooted into the new desktop, the graphics effects just blew me away. Especially impressive are the cube and the rotate plugins while the more useful ones are the Alt-Tab switching with live preview and expose kind of interface to view all your applications in one screen. Compiz uses plugins to achieve different individual graphics effects. Currently, there are so many number of plugins available like the Wobbly, cube, rotate, miniwin, dock, fade, minimize, zoom, scale etc., I could not get a good screenshot of the cube or rotate plugins, so I am not posting them here, but the following from linuxedge.org could give you an idea.
The major problem with Xgl is that it is resource hungry and a bit buggy too. If you are using an intel based graphics adapter, AIGLX is a better option. A complete how to guide is here. So at the end of the day, I replaced XGL with AIGLX, disabled a few buggy plugins like miniwin and the dock and removed the wobbly plugin too. (Wobbly made me dizzy). All is well and fine now. I believe I can use compiz as the primary window manager after all these tweaks.
It is surprising to see that all these jazzy graphic effects work effortlessly on my integrated graphics card, intel GMA 900. Windows Vista upgrade advisor wants me to upgrade my graphics card to run aero, which effectively means that I have to buy a replacement for my 6 month old laptop in order to enjoy all the graphics effects in Vista. If compiz can do it, why not Vista? Vista in fact offers much less graphic effects compared to compiz. I see nothing but a conspiracy by the hardware vendors and Microsoft in this case.