Totem's major strength over other MediaPlayers is its sane GUI. Contrast Xine, whose interface is such a disaster it should convince people that "skinning" is a huge misfeature. Trying to imitate the operation of analog devices doesn't help usability either. Jamie Zawinski's rant about Linux video player usability is harsh, but valid.
If totem-gstreamer won't play your DivX files, try installing the ffmpeg plugin. This may be patent-encumbered in some countries, so your distribution might not distribute it in their CD images. If you use Ubuntu Hoary, gstreamer0.8-ffmpeg is apparently in Universe. If you use Debian Sarge, get it here.