Linus' problems have been addressed, and I'm explaining a lame workaround for my wishes to get something slightly similar to what I want. My workaround does only work because of the fixes for Linus' problems.
After looking into the code I understood that the window buttons are only used with left-click, right and middle click are handled by the "window titlebar action" instead.
So I redefined the window titlebar mouse actions to do maximize horizontally / vertically on right click and double click. (I am pretty accustomed to having middle button on title bar put the window into the background, but I might change that).
So here's what you have to do.
- browse to /apps/metacity/general
While you are at it, you might also enable
resize_with_right_button, which restores even some more sanity.
For all those asking why I'm not using a different window manager with GNOME: been there, tried that, but the integration of them all was pretty horrible (keyboard shortcuts no longer easily configurable, ...) and I want somehting that just works and does not always get in my way. If I wanted that, I could have kept KDE.