Its great to see another tablet user join the community, but I just have to say after 10 years of doing it your way, and another 8 with a front end; you're missing the point of a front end. I'd never go back to a bare desktop, especially with all the features, updates, and support for RR. The front-end unifies, simplifies, and organizes your apps, utilities, and plugins allowing them to work in unison and together to give you a richer more robust system.
I still use my tablet for many other things - school, work, recreation, etc. but as soon as it goes into one of my cars (same tablet 3 cars)... on with the front-end. I have GPS turn indicators on every screen; RR controls my volume; gammacontrol automatically works to switch day/night skins for both RR and Freedrive; WhereIsMyGPS updates my location via internet; there's standardization for play/ff/rew/next/prev for mp3, internet radio, videos, XM, FM, TV; volume leveling is done in RR mixer so all sources are leveled equal; and the list goes on and on.
If its an issue with not finding a skin to your liking - make your own. Configuring RR isn't the easiest front-end to work with, but if you want the best and want to use some of its unique features, the learning curve is well worth your time.
One thing that we have that not many others do is the standby=>hibernation mode for power on/off use which I really like, but reconsider the front-end for sure.