They're doing what they can within the current desktop frameworks. But I mean dump kde and gnome and all the others. Possibly even dump X completely. Butild a new GUI that is modern, new toolkit for it and redo all common tools.
Make a clean break, a new start on a modern UI, exactly like Apple did. Gnome is an ancient *******ization of the old mac UI and KDE is an old *******ization of the Window XP UI. I use them every day and it's just kind of pathetic. Things need to move WAY forward, even the latest distros, other than pretty backgrouns are looking more dated every day.
But as you said, it will take a lot of money and concerted effort to do