Yes, I pretty much only use the command line.
I'm going to start by sending you to a page of mine, that pretty much covers what little I know.
I use tovid to do most of my DVDs for tabletop, and strongly recommend it. I don't know much about any of the GUI tools, so if you ask me, do I think it's the desktop or whatever, I would just shrug and say, Yeah, maybe.
When you say that the various widgets are giving you trouble though, my answer is that using CLI tools just eliminates one more possible cause of problems.