Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
There are better, more refined GTK1.2 looks around the Internet, but considering my previous attempts (which I refuse to show), this isn’t too bad.
That’s Gutsy on the old Sotec machine, using the Mist GTK1 engine with Helvetica 12 as the GTK font and the menubar font set to the same (otherwise I get these enormongous captions on buttons). You can adjust that by editing /etc/gtk/gtkrc.utf-8, or the appropriate localized version. The background is set with xsetroot, and Openbox is the window manager … of course. ;)
It’s not what I would call an adorable desktop, but it no longer triggers my gag reflex when I see GTK1 apps.
And those are what I’m using on this machine, as a compromise toward speed. So far I’m using Dillo, emelfm, Sylpheed-GTK1, XMMS and a few others. I need a halfway decent GTK1.2 text editor and perhaps an image viewer, but most of those things I can circumvent with other programs. If you have any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them.
Otherwise, I’ve gotten an acceptable mix of speed over aesthetics now, although there are some remaining quirks. I still get funky framebuffer behavior in Gutsy (and this is on a different machine, so I don’t think it’s my other laptop that’s doing it), dead screens at tty1-6, and when X exits, I get nothing at all. It’s still running, but there’s no video output. And I have a wonky triple-shadowed-X-cursor if I don’t use a mouse cursor theme. Curiouser and curiouser.
In other words, Gutsy is still maturing — so don’t get all crazy and start installing it now, unless you’re comfortable with fixing some things. :)