Reading this story on Avant Window Navigator finally prompted me to look into some of the cutting-edge panel replacement projects for GNOME. I got Avant built and working no problem, but it's really just eye candy, it's not really usable as a functional panel replacement yet IMHO. So I went for Gimmie instead. The 'stable' 0.2.3 in Cooker appears to crash every time you mouse over anything, but I built current SVN instead and that works beautifully (after replacing the gaim plugin with an older revision, since the new one is broken code). I am very, very impressed with it - in fact, after using it for fifteen minutes I can't imagine going back to gnome-panel. I hope after some (a lot :>) of polishing, it can be the default for GNOME - it'd be nice to finally break the dull old Win95-style panel paradigm.
The first obvious "wouldn't that be cool" that has popped into my head: it'd be great to be able to put Firefox or Epiphany bookmarks into the 'Library' section - I don't work on any specific local documents regularly enough to put them here, but I'd love to put a few of the websites I'm always going to in there.
And of course, since I have a widescreen display, it'd be nice to be able to move it to the side instead of the bottom. That may be possible, though, and I just didn't figure it out yet.