i'm using mate as a backend to handle all that dconf garbage etc. apart from a few daemons, everything is launched from mate-session
herbstluftwm has the really interesting concept of allowing manual tiling of frames and then providing automatic layouts for inside those frames. in theory, it's the best of both worlds, but it gets kind of confusing, so i've just set the layout to always be max. this way frames basically just have multiple tabs for me that can by cycled through. it's really neat for saving screen space! (try splitting a screen with both an editor and a terminal on one side and all your documentation on the other). i3 can do much the same thing, but it comes with lots of slightly annoying things to get rid of.
yay for mouseless copy-pasta! if you've never seen it, check out urxvt-perls.
yay for everything about ranger!
s'great, but still needs some way to communicate selections to ranger.
keyboard-driven browsing ^_^. try setting your hint keys.
useful things all around.