I followed the all the instructions I could find--the ones on the Awesome wiki, and the ones on the Arch linux wiki, but so far none have really worked. I usually get an error while trying to log in that says "could not load session 'Awesome.'" Is there something Ubuntu users out there have tried with success, for getting this WM to work with a GNOME session?
firstly welcome to awesome!
Assuming that you are on Gnome2, the above snippet should get you rolling. It disables the desktop (the desktop you see with the icons is a special nautilus window, it disables that). The second command sets sets awesome as the window manager dislodging compiz/metacity.
I am sure that you must be getting awesome as a session option while logging in. Basically, once you start using the awesome window manager, you'll start customizing things, and for that bottom approach is advisable (as a fellow user, what draws you to this wm is its sense of minimalism and simplicity). What I mean is that when you'll login with awesome, you'll get bare minimum things. Start working your way up by knowing what all from gnome you require.
For me, they were:
You can put them into a file and called it like "start.sh" and call every time you login or you can put it in .Xsession file (I did this)
I had done that (from above, long back ) What I'd suggest you do is, run gnome-settings-daemon, nm-applet , gnome-power-manager etcetra on login. (automate using Xsession, I guess)
I usually try