The alt + right click combination does not work for editing gnome-panel in the unity interface, but I eventually found that holding alt and clicking both mouse buttons at the same time worked to bring up the panel's properties menu.
It occasionally works when I hold alt and press both mouse buttons on any panel applets. Most of the time I am stuck with the added applets.
I was able to delete the top gnome-panel. But when I changed the bottom panel's properties to be on the right side of the screen, it completely disappeared, and there was no way to get it back, even when I logged in with gnome-classic.
(So far, I have had to dump gnome-panel as an option for an extra Ubuntu 11.10 panel, as there appear to be too many conflicts between the gnome panel and the new unity interface.)
Are there any configurations that can be altered to make the editing of the gnome-panel easier? Such as in Gconf-editor or Dconf-editor?