Note: you're not really comparing OSs here; just window managers.
Linux is all about customization. Install different window managers (GNOME/KDE/XCFE/LXDE), experiment, then decide. You have much more customization options than on Windows/Mac on Linux. Don't forget to install Compiz too (for desktop effects).
No one could guess the version of Linux I'm running just by looking at my desktop...
Either distro would do the job for me. The first thing to go if I were to install Ubuntu is GNOME 3/Unity - I'm not a fan of it. I mainly use LXDE because of its speed and efficiency.
Window managers can be installed through the Software Center.
Alternatively, you could try out a few Ubuntu variant Live CDs: