One of my gripes with Fedora 17 is that it doesn't come with 'Advanced Settings' or gnome tweak tools pre-installed so that users can easily customize it. I also don't understand why 'shutdown/restart' option is not available in user menu by default.
So, first thing you need to do is install gnome tweak tool which will allow you to tweak the Gnome Shell to meet your needs. Gnome has dozens of extensions which you can use to customize Fedora 17 according to your needs and taste. You will also need to install gnome shell extensions common from Yumex.
Open Yumex and search for 'gnome tweak tool' and Gnome Shell Extensions Common. Once these two packages are installed you can now tweak the default look and feel of Fedora.
I prefer the minimize and maximize buttons with my Windows so from Advanced Settings I changed it from Close to Show All.
I also enabled File Manager to handle the desktop so that I can see files/folder saved in the 'desktop' folder. It will also allow you to change desktop background etc easily. In addition I also installed Alternative Status Menu to get shutdown/restart button in the user menu. You can now also change themes and also manage extensions which you enabled using extensions.gnome.org. These are my favorite extensions.
These are some of my favorite menus which makes Gnome to behave in a manner I want it to behave. Which extensions do you use?