Until we see the RTM, we cannot jump to the conclusion that the desktop has gone. So far, it is very much alive. Use of the latest release of "Classic" takes you straight there, and you are back in familiar surroundings.
I am not, so far, regarding the metro "interface" as a desktop. If it were so, then why, after using an app, are we returned to the more familiar desktop, and not to the Metro screen?
Very few users actually have a regular need for the mass of applications which were in the old menu, particularly when accompanied by the usual third party applications. I, so far, am regarding the metro screen as a graphical start menu. If you remove those items which are rarely used (they are still available, instantly, - "All Apps"). you have a reasonable, uncluttered, graphical start menu. You even have your start button, but now hidden, should you be returned to the desktop - swish, bottom left corner.
Metro, I agree, in its present form, is not the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. But, hopefully, this is one of the areas of self customisation which MS will improve before the next release.
For reasons connected to my work mode, and multi tasking, I am not comfortable so far, using pure Metro applications which go full screen. This also, is not a problem. There are plenty of suitable standard alternatives to the items, so far, which are in the Metro "Store".
But, going back to my earlier remarks, for Metro to be a true new desktop, a user must be returned there, surely, after using an app.
I see a huge percentage of posters on forums, who offer up incredibly cluttered desktops, or taskbars. Perhaps I have the wrong perspective on this, but how can this possible be an advantage to the straight and direct use of the Metro screen? (Except, of course, for those with that taste, it is no longer possible to have those beautiful picture desktops as a background?)