I prefer no-frills Ubuntu Classic (no effects) to the new Ubuntu Unity desktop. I'm glad it's still an option in Ubuntu 11.04. But will Ubuntu keep offering the option of logging into Ubuntu Classic for the indefinite future, or is it going to be phased out? Is there an official pronouncement on this?
GNOME 2.32 has been replaced by GNOME 3.2 in 11.10.
GNOME 2.x is where the classic desktop session came from, and is no longer maintained by the GNOME Foundation. They do however maintain a "fallback" mode that is similar to the old "classic" desktop:
As long as the fallback mode exists you'll probably be able to install it in Ubuntu via a method like this. "Deprecated" is probably too strong a word since it'll be available in the repositories, but by default the fallback mode for the Ubuntu desktop is now Unity 2D.
Starting in 11.10, no more gnome 2. There is a fallback mode in gnome 3 that is similar, but not exactly alike. And it lacks features like applets (system monitor, eyes in the panel, etc). But there is a fork of gnome 2 called mate, but as of now it is not available in ubuntu, but it should be soon. So if you cant stand unity or gnome 3, you should either wait and stick with 11.04, use the gnome 3 fallback mode on 11.10, or wait for mate to be moved to ubuntu.