This is my desktop screenshot.
At the top bar you can see common used applications..
IceWeasel, gaim, gimp, [home], termina, synaptec, poedit, ssh [to server] and exit.
I do have beryl also on this machine It runs pretty well.
I have spent the whole day theming the whole thing. I plan to package it all up later and make a script. More on this later
Desktop has totally changed though
Indeed, GNOME is great. It even seems like it isn't any more memory hungry than Xfce and Xfce was supposed to be light. I don't seem to notice any real difference between the two in terms of performance.
Although, thunar *is* lighter than nautilus, at least.
Ah, GNOME... my current favourite DE (though I tend to keep it as much 'default' as possible for some reason).
Dylunio it is quite a minimal gnome