If there is one thing bad about Linux on the desktop, its the obligation to most often use the latest bleeding edge, and sometime unstable, version of the system operation only to get access to the latest version of desktop applications.
Sure, for Ubuntu there are PPAs and probably the equivalent for other distributions, too often no PPAs are available.
Best example is Evince. I suffer on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS some bugs/limitations. But I run Evince 3.10.x while 3.18 exists. But, 3.18 cannot run on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. I cannot simply compile it, because the libraries are too old. I would have to compile the whole Gnome suite + extra libraries to get the latest version on 14.04.
I fully understand the idea of shared library and how they are efficient. But these days, we have plenty of memory and storage space, and I need to get the work done. On the desktop, it is not computer resources we need to optimize, but the user. The user has to become more productive. And to accomplish this, sometimes he needs the latest software. And no, asking him to install the latest version of the OS or an unstable version is not an acceptable solution.
For desktop applications, I feel that projects should provide statically linked version of the application. I could then, for instance, download the latest version and start using it. Operating system stuff, yeah, leave it as is with shared libraries. But desktop applications, give us the option and let us decide to shoot ourselves in the foot.
Do not get me wrong; by default, the version using shared library should be made available. Statically linked applications should only be used as last resort. But please, give us that last resort.
The worst part is when I want to report a software problem and the developer asks me to try to reproduce it on the latest version. Sigh.