There is some discussions upstream about GTK 2.8 for GNOME 2.12, due to the fact than the new version (based on cairo) didn't get a lot of user testing for the moment. Tarballs of glib/gtk/pango have been rolled, so let's play with them and send some feedback upstream :)
I've uploaded a glib2.0 2.7.0 package to Ubuntu/Debian (experimental) and put i386 gtk 2.7.0/pango 1.9.0 packages for Ubuntu on this page (you can also use "deb http://people.ubuntu.com/~seb128/gtk ./" for your sources.list).
Some notes about the new version:
- better to use cairo 0.5.1 because of this issue
- it "breaks" firefox because gecko assumes than gtk uses pangoxft which is not true with cairo, you can workaround it by editing /usr/bin/firefox and not exporting MOZ_ENABLE_PANGO
- I'll upload the new pango/gtk to Debian (experimental) after the cairo package update than should happen soon