One thing I miss about XFCE is the ability to move to the next workspace/desktop by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. Is there a way to do this in Gnome?
Actually yes! BUT, only if you are running compiz.
First you need compizconfig-settings-manager (get it from software center). Once you have it installed, you can find it in the preferences menu (system>preferences).
You will be met with a screen like this:.
Now, the plugins you want to edit are either Desktop wall, or Rotate Cube. Which one you use depends on the workspace switcher that you have.
In either plugin's configuration dialogue (click once to access it), there is the option to switch on pointer movement.
If you don't want to use either of this virtual desktop managment plugins, you can also switch viewports with the viewport switcher plugin. To do this, click on the last tab, which contains mouse based options. The two options you want are the second and third last buttons. Click on them, and they will bring up a dialogue like:
This one. You need to check enabled (usually these options are not enabled), and then you can choose to switch based on a corner of your screen.
As far as I understand you cannot do this with Metacity as your window manager. However, you don't need to have all the bling enabled with compiz either. Once you have the settings manager you can disable all the useless plugins you don't need.
Hope that helps! If you don't understand something, you can leave me a comment and I'll try to explain better.
If you're not happy with compiz (some systems don't perform well with compiz) you could also run Brightside .
Brightside settings are made from a terminal with
The applications starts by running
This command can also be put into startup applications to run after login.