I have installed 12.10 on a new hdd.
After rebooting, I log in but only see the background and mouse cursor. I can ctrl-alt-t to get terminal, and ctrl-alt-f1 also to run commands. however no launcher.
I have followed and rechecked 3 times the advice given here:
per the request:
I came across this post and thought it relevant since I have a gForce 6600GT.