Cinnamon is a fork of GNOME 3 designed to keep the desktop familiar (think Windows layout).
It also uses the modern functionality brought by the transition to GNOME 3 (think integration). Though the current GNOME version brings the Linux desktop closer to the modern tablet and touch screen layout, cinnamon maintains a traditional layout. This is my personal environment of choice and the most recommended for the person switching to Linux from the Windows environment to keep a familiar computer setup.
I prefer the cinnamon desktop because it is clean, elegant, and intuitive for a Windows platform user. Additionally, Cinnamon is complete with a variety of tools to make the computer system easy to administrate.