I installed MATE and it looks just like GNOME 2. Bluetile runs fine as well, but it didn't start running upon logging in. Here's a solution I found online:
Adding these two files is one possible solution:
Name=MATE + Bluetile
Comment=Tiling window manager
mateconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/caja/preferences/show_desktop False
mateconftool-2 --type string \
--set /desktop/mate/session/required_components/windowmanager bluetile
I'm not sure why the person I'm quoting decided to disable the desktop, mine is set to True. Make sure that /usr/bin/mate-bluetile-session is executable. You should then be able to select "MATE + Bluetile" from the options list when you login.
A second problem I've found is that the run application dialog doesn't come up with win-p. I installed gexec, mapped that to win+p, and changed the bluetile shortcut to Mod1+p.
Another solution: install grun and map that to win+p. Grun seems like the more traditional run application dialog box.
run application dialog in gnome2 (alt-f2) without gnome-panel