Greetings @mandog, long time no see. I hope you are doing well.
The whole reason why I never gave Solus a serious look was because Ikey was the driving force behind it. I did not want to be left in the lurch when he decided to “drop out”.
I remember that release, it was a train wreck.
That is when I started to distro hop. Unity was, in my opinion, too heavy for its own good.
They still managed to mess things up. Their “Unity-ization” of the Gnome desktop is so tightly integrated into the Gnome Shell, that you have to install another “vanilla” version of Gnome, and choose to boot into that, if you want to disable their customizations.
That being said, I hope that the Mint/ Cinnamon devs figure out exactly what they want to do. They seem to be floundering around with out any purpose right now. I honestly think that they would be better served dropping their Ubuntu base and going to a Debian base.