Some other time I had another Linux installation that had this neat & active search/run box in the main Applications menu. That is missing in my current installation of 11.04.
Would someone teach me how to get one of those please ?
I think you mean the SUSE main menu, which looked like this:
It is no longer maintained, as far as I know, and it definitely won't work with the GNOME 3.x gnome-panel. However, you can get the source from http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-main-menu and attempt to use it, if you wish.
Deskbar-Applet appears in my 'add to' choices and it does enough that I consider this question answered well enough - thanks for the info folks !!!