I still have Gnome 3 and Unity nightmares from time to time about HUD displays going rogue, and overview mode craziness. At the same time I have moved beyond the classic Gnome 2 approach to window lists.
In all honesty I like the Chromebook approach. One desktop with one icon for multiple instances of a program. I also like how the Chromebook handles window placement. You drag it to the side it resizes to fit in desired space.
If you install the applet Window List and App Grouping, you can get the Chrome, or XFCE for the matter, app grouping on the icon. This looks so much cleaner that windows lists across the panel.
As you load more instances of a particular app the icon is numbered and if you hover over the icon you get window previews. I personally like this approach much better than a overview window.
Now how does Petra 16 handle Window and Desktop management. As you can see from the screenshots Petra gives you a variety of options for Window placement. You can drag a window to either side and even top or bottom.
By far, my favorite setting is selecting a window and clicking the right or left arrows to send it to another desktop. I show this in the video below.
I have both Overview and Edge Flipping turned off. Those are "features" that end up being more irritating than useful. Features designed to make life easier yet always seem to be in my way when doing work.