I've been giving the i3 window manager a spin for the last few days after noticing a lot of buzz about it on the webs. I have to say I am very impressed. So impressed I've decided to switch to it from specrwm.
The first thing you notice when you login is that it isn't an ultra-minimalist tiling wm. It comes preconfigured with a status bar which displays some useful system information (no need for Conky) and a system tray at the bottom (no need for trayer). It also has a task bar at at the top (both based on dmenu I believe). It sports some nice, low profile window decorations. It comes with stacked, tabbed and tiling modes which is very handy. It also has a scratchpad facility to keep rarely used windows out of sight (although this wasn't configured by default on Debian Jessie - see below). The config file is simple and easy to understand and the documentation on the site is excellent.
To get the scratchpad, screenlocking and the volume and backlight keys working I added the following to my config file (~/.i3/config):
# Scatchpad - http://build.i3wm.org/docs/userguide.html#_scratchpad # Make the currently focused window a scratchpad bindsym $mod+Shift+minus move scratchpad # Show the first scratchpad window bindsym $mod+minus scratchpad show # Volume Keys bindsym XF86AudioMute exec amixer sset Master toggle bindsym XF86AudioLowerVolume exec amixer set Master 5%- bindsym XF86AudioRaiseVolume exec amixer set Master 5%+ # Backlight bindsym XF86MonBrightnessDown exec exec xbacklight - 10 bindsym XF86MonBrightnessUp exec exec xbacklight + 10 # Lock Screen bindsym Ctrl+Mod1+l exec xscreensaver-command -lock