The UI really is a non-issue. It sucks, but you just install StartAllBack and it's gone. It fixes the Start menu, it fixes the taskbar, it fixes the context menus and can even put Explorer back to how it looked in Windows 10 (or even Windows 7) if you prefer that. The hardware requirements are also trivial to bypass. Rufus will automatically patch them out if you use it to create the installation media. I'm running it without my TPM or Secure Boot enabled, and have had no problems. It doesn't complain about anything and updates work just fine.
Beyond that, it's just Windows 10 with some minor improvements. It's somewhat lighter than Windows 10 and uses less RAM, comparing my custom debloating of both. It also outright allows you to disable telemetry via Group Policy if you're using Education or Enterprise (I installed the latter), which is something Windows 10 doesn't allow, with even those editions sending "necessary" data. I haven't encountered any more bugs than I ever had with Windows 10 either. Not that that's a high bar, given Microsoft's endless beta approach to Windows these days, but still.
It's really not a bad version of Windows once you fix Microsoft's boneheaded design decisions. On the whole I like it more than I ever liked Windows 10. In an ideal world I'd still prefer to be using Windows 7, but that becomes less and less viable, even with BypassESU.
The taskbar can be moved back to the left in Windows 11 settings.
move the taskbar left, right-click anywhere on the taskbar and select Taskbar Settings from the pop-up menu—if you can call a menu with one item in it a menu. This will take you directly to the Personalization > Taskbar screen.
Here you can add/remove some of the items that appear on the taskbar, such as Search, Task view, Widgets, and Chat, which can be useful for keeping it clean.
The option you're looking for can be found at the bottom of this screen: Taskbar behaviors. Expand this section by clicking on it, and then set the taskbar alignment to 'Left' and you're done.
There are lots of tricks, right click on the main window icon opens up options, there are a bunch of personal changes you can make for making Windows 11 slick.