I don't really need a search driven application menu - particularly with a 'null' front page offering me email and web browser. Can I just hook in a simple application menu here in any way? (giving the effect of going straight to 'more apps')?
One of the comments below links to a list of alternative supported desktop environments - What different DE's / shells are available? which I think may be very relevant, but having been bitten before by Ubuntu changing their preferences (media player, photo manager) I'm keen to see if there are any ways to improve the customisation of the current flavour-of-the-month desktop.