New 12.04 installation: How do I set up a classic file access display, with drives and folders? I may grow to like the default setup but until then I would like the familiarity of the older system.
I think what you want is the tree view, with the drives and folders displayed on the left:
You can get this by going to the View Menu for File Manager, and change the Sidebar to the Tree view option instead of Places:
The "detailed" view on the right is the List view; you can also change it to a compact view (no details), or a large view (icons) as John has explained in his answer.
To bring up the Nautilus file access display press the top button in the Launcher bar and type Files into the HUD. Then Click on the Folder Icon with the little house displayed.
If you are getting a list of files and want icons for files and folder icons for folders instead, this can be adjusted with Nautilus' View Menu.
With the list display window selected, move the mouse to the top left and you will see Nautulus menus. Select View->Icons. A shortcut is to hold Ctrl and press 1 while the file access display window is active.