I'm of two minds on the desktop.
If you're really using your computer, your desktop should almost never be visible. Your screen should be covered with information, with whatever data you're working on. I can't imagine why you'd willingly stare at a static background image-- or even a background image covered with a sea of icons. Unless you consider your computer a really expensive digital picture frame, I suppose.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/10/your-desktop-is-not-a-destination.html