Just a few points I wanted to get across after reading my backlog in this thread:
1) Fedora's branding, IMHO, isn't close to strong enough. Compared to Ubuntu we suck in this department. So I see no reason to weaken it further at all. Mo is right, we do NOT have coffee shop recognition but that doesn't mean we should give up, bend over (as Nicu put it) and surrender our efforts - even if it's only for one release. What we NEED to do, is strengthen our branding and work harder. That is why I believe we should reject this proposal.
2) I strongly believe this move won't help Gnome. I love what they are doing with Shell and Gnome 3 but I think they are badly mistaken in thinking that establishing a default look via a wallpaper (of all things) across their different distribution channels will strengthen their brand. Gnome is a desktop, it doesn't have need for a brand in this respect. What they need is rock-solid software with awesome features (just think of the Zeitgeist mess for a second) and a well-planned release. If they spend their time and energy on that it will benefit them a lot more than us shipping their default wallpaper. If the time we wasted with this decision would have been spend on hacking on or thinking about Shell, we and they would already be better off.
3) What Fedora needs most of all is more end-user focus, IMO. I love the upstream work we are doing, but the areas we need to improve is UI polish, marketing and quality control. The first two things are areas where we in the design team can help. We need to develop a strong visual brand that the Marketing Team can use to propel us to a place on the desktop alongside people like Ubuntu. We are technically better, let's also be better in the other areas too!
Sorry for wasting even more of people's time, but I had to get this off my chest.