Gnome 3.0 was revolutionary in many ways. It rewrote the entire desktop metaphor without being (or even look like) a cheap windows or Mac rip off. This is the first time any Linux system became truly innovative in that sense. But at the same time there were some stupid mistakes done by the gnome team and there were numerous customers outcry for options and changes. The suspend on user menu (hidden shutdown/restart), lack of an application list readily available on the desktop etc, were some of the issues that many users got frustrated about the otherwise awesome desktop.
On of the biggest complaints about the gnome 3.0 was that (for laptop users) when the laptop lid was closed, the desktop went to suspend mode. The worst part was that it was not even possible to remove or change that option from the default settings screen. The only way around the problem was to install the gnome tweak tool (which is awesome by the way and a must-have for the gnome users) and change it from that application.
Not anymore. The new Gnome 3.2 version started to add back features into the desktop and (looks like) started to listen to the complaints of the desktop users. The default behavior is still the suspend (They still have the suspend fever). But in the the power settings screen of the git versions (which will be eventually the Gnome 3.2), there is an added option to change the default behavior on laptop lid close.
The options allow users to suspend, hibernate or do nothing on laptop lid close. There should ideally be a ‘blank screen’ option as well, and hopefully they will add it soon.