Convince me to upgrade from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion...

I've a mid-2010 Macbook Pro with the 2.66 Ghz i7, 8GB RAM currently running 10.6.8. I've loved OS X since I got my first Mac about 8 years ago, but for the first time since I got a Mac, I skipped an upgrade to Lion (thankfully) since I didn't see anything in it that I liked / wanted. My phone is a Galaxy Nexus so I got zilch from the iOS-like changes - and indeed dislike them greatly from what I've seen.

In fact, everything that I've seen thus far makes me REALLY dislike ML for the same reasons. I love using spaces and now I have to download something to bring it back in ML? Could care less about iCloud. Battery life is WORSE in ML? Apps seem to work fine unless you have one that needed Rosetta (which I don't, to my knowledge). From what I can see, I don't care for notification center (growl works flawlessly for me).

My fear is I'm now 2 versions behind. I'll have to eventually upgrade to keep getting OS fixes, so the writing may just be on the wall and I'll have to suck it up and deal with skeuomorphism - in all it's absurd non-glory and App Center and apparently you can disable notification center so that may not be necessary.

I predominantly use my Mac for school work on my Computer networking and systems degree I'm pursuing (Cisco stuff), run a few VMs in VirtualBox (for school, and studying to re-certify in my RHCE), and use Chrome most of the rest of the time. I occasionally play a game on it, but not hardly ever.

I'm really looking to expand my perspective on ML from those that use it as a daily resource, and to broaden my current closed view of the upgrade as a dramatic clusterflop compared to SL. I'm looking for perspectives to change my stodgy view of ML.

Thanks in advance!