In my quest to add a minimal desktop GUI to Ubuntu Server, (and not use Unity, which I hate),
I got a tip from a techie friend. Basically, what he does is to install an older version of Ubuntu, ie 10.04,
which had the simpler GNOME interface, then upgrades to the newer version of Ubuntu.
Here's the steps I took to accomplish this:

Installed Ubuntu Server 10.04

Added the Ubuntu Desktop GUI by doing the following:

sudo apt-get update
sudo aptitude install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-desktop

The above doesn't install all the extra stuff, which is typically found on an Ubuntu Desktop install (such as Open Office etc).

After I rebooted, after entering the above command, I was actually presented with a desktop gui/login.
I needed a browser so I did the following:

sudo apt-get install firefox

When I clicked on browse my shared directories on my local network, it gave me an error message:

Could not display "network:///". Nautilus cannot handle "network" locations

sigh.. ok. More Googling.. I found this command:

sudo apt-get install gvfs-backends

Afterwards I was able to browse my network.

Then I was wondering what hoops I might have to jump through to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04.
Fortunately, when I ran the Update Manager (from my new desktop gui interface) it offered to upgrade
Ubuntu to 12.04 right at the top. So, I clicked the upgrade button. I will update this article after I see what this did.