The first thing I want to know about a window manager is the same thing I want to know about a terminal emulator: does it steal my keystrokes, thus making it hard to use Emacs? If so, it's a deal-breaker. Metacity is decent, since even though it does by default steal a bunch, it's pretty easy to tell it not to.

You can configure awesome to use that key with the funny wiggly box shape (Mod4 for me) as its escape key, leaving everything else open to applications. And it's the only one of the wmii/dwm/awesome family that seems to cope with dynamic multiple monitors. I prefer wmii's column-based layout, but the XRandR support sucks. And if I'm going to hack the code as in dwm, I'll switch to StumpWM or XMonad first.

Well that is why I did not switch to awesome yet: I do not find a clean way to bind Mod4 to one of my laptop key (Apple MacBook Pro). What is your Mod key binded to ? Windows key ?

I've never had a window that shape... It'd be damned hard to frame. Looks more like a flag in four quarters. But yes, that's my (not Mr. Hess's) Mod4. I think it's normally Super_L, but I remapped it with xmodmap. My ~/.xmodmaprc:

clear Mod4
add Mod4 = Super_L

Then I had to copy the .awesomerc from its origins, etc. I'm not a huge fan of awesome; I just don't have time to play with StumpWM or any of the others to get multihead working sanely right now.