I think I’ve played with Manjaro 18.1 as much as I’m going to. I will keep using it occasionally until such time as I want the partition it’s on for trying something else.
My approach when trying distros is NOT to try and poke in all corners and test everything, but to try it out as a distro for me, to do the things I do. Your criteria, your needs may vary and include things I don’t do.
This means I tend to go for the Xfce desktop version if available, or to install Xfce from the repositories if there isn’t an Xfce version and it’s not a selection during the install. I have and do periodically try other DEs but always come back to Xfce as it works just fine for me, it’s a tool to do a job, maybe not the prettiest tool, but who worrys about if their hammer is a pretty hammer?
The install : Easy, fast, efficient - I had no problems, I ended up with a usable system with a good Xfce panel layout. I did tweak the panel, adding and rearranging things to my normal layout so things were where I wanted them.
Software : Decent selection - Not everything I want is installed automatically, it never is. And yes, there’s software I will never use installed, (I can’t remember the last time I used any of LibreOffice), but who cares? I refuse to worry about the disk space taken up by it these days. I’m not a fan of minimal installs and then installing just what you want to use as long as there isn’t excessive bloat (your view of excessive may vary, but that’s fine).
I’ve, if not mastered at least got the hang of, using pacman and pamac on Arch based distros so was able to easily install the packages that I want and use, (I have script for it which makes life much easier as I try different distros).
In Use : It’s Linux - By which I mean it has the applications I’m used to, they work the way they do on other Linux distros. Once in an application what the distro is doesn’t really matter. Being Arch based the applications may be later versions than those on Debian based distros but that is not usually a problem, certainly I had no problems
Software Updates : Slow Rolling - While being Arch based it doesn’t seem to roll quite as fast as the other Arch based distros I have inatalled, (ArcoLinux and EndeavourOS), in that while they have had several updates in the same time I’ve had Manjaro 18.1 installed, Manjaro has had relatively few and is a couple of kernel versions behind those others. It’s not a problem, I still think Manjaro is a rolling release, but a “slow rolling” rolling release.
My Conclusion : Nice, Usable Linux Distro - All-in-all, I like Manjaro, I could live with it as a daily driver (if say I worked somewhere where it was the corporate desktop). It’s a very attractive distro, the default wallpapers and themes work well and are colourful but without looking out of place if it was in an office setting. It goes without saying that the software available is good, with a wide selection to choose from. I’ve had the previous Manjaro 18 on a different laptop for several months now with no problems following updates, so I’d say that was decently stable and I’d expect 18.1 to be no different.
Of the Arch based distros I’ve tried (not that many) I think Manjaro is the one that I might, just might, consider giving to a tech savvy Linux noob who wanted/needed to learn Linux. Most people I think would be better off with the usual candidates, (are they all Debian/Ubuntu based?), but I don’t think it would be totally beyond an intelligent, tech savvy, noob who accepted they’d be having to learn some new tricks
Now me, I like it, I can use it, but I’m back off to MX-19, and if I had to use an Arch base my 1st port of call would be ArcoLinux.