Been checking out the latest release of E17 from the Sid repos - there are build scripts available that will get the latest release from git, but I couldn't get them to work; they are possibly obsolete.
E17 has always marketed itself as a low resource window manager that allows for a lot of bling - and although that was pretty much accurate, in the past it was plagued by instability - it would regularly seg fault on my desktop single core AMD-64. Because of the instability, I never really used it as a main window manager; I would tinker with it because it is modular - like Fvwm - and you load the modules you choose which allowed for a lot of customization.
The current build in the repos seems pretty stable. No crashes yet, but I'm using my HP I3 laptop this time. Lowrider over at #! has been running stable E17 on his #! and Arch systems so it looks like the stable release is indeed stable.
Some shots showing resource usage - fluxbox with compton, Xfce with compositing, E17 with compositing, two terminals and conky. For fluxbox and E17 the terminal is urxvt with transparency, for Xfce it's the xfce4-terminal:
The available themes for E17 have improved a lot (more variety) - use to be they were almost all of the glassy/glossy aesthetic or OSX mimics; there are plenty more modern and gray scale color palettes now. Downside to customizing E17 is that it is a major pain to make your own - E17 uses it's own internal theme elements, but non-e17 apps use available gtk themes which is a nice improvement. As with earlier versions of E17, the E17 themes can be mixed and matched to your liking - i.e the clock module from theme X can be used in theme Y. Most of the buggy modules have been dropped from the base install, as the E17 devs seem to be focusing on improving what works.
E17 loads the compositing module by default, so I used the internal argb settings in conky for a transparent conky window.
All in all a big improvement for the E17 developers, but IMO they are a day late and a dollar (euro if you prefer) short. The improvements made to recent versions of Xfce - particularly the compositor - have pretty much made E17 irrelevant as far as having a WM/DE that combines low resources with as much bling as you want. Unless you're really concerned about the additional resources Xfce uses, it's the better choice, But if you want something different to tinker with, by all means give it a spin - or maybe load Bodhi or Elive into VM's - both are debian/ubuntu based; I liked elive when I had it installed, but E17 at that time just wasn't stable enough to keep it around. Never tried Bodhi, but have read good reviews.