I switched to KDE .. and recently switched to Gnome. They don't seem dramatically different to me; they're both 2D desktops. They let me start Emacs - what else do you need.Well quite - though I'm sure you don't need anything quite as memory heavy if Emacs is all that's needed (blackbox, fluxbox,...).
exec emacsshould be quite enough.
(How come this is the first blog post I've made with an emacs label???!!!)