Thank God I used Kubuntu. Much fewer problems on the cross integration of programs. I just don't get why everyone thinks/thought Gnome was less resource intensive because I ran both and KDE was only at most using a 100MBs more.
OP: If you got rid of the DE (window manager if you will) I don't think you'd be seeing much at all since it's the GUI environment if I understand correctly. Glad to see you got the panel thing though back under control. I remember when I first tried out Ubuntu and somehow had both panels linked (don't ask, me and default Ubuntu are not on talking terms). Went to the second and poof, both were gone. Freaked me out.
Anyways, I have a newish problem and a random question.
When I close the laptop or it just goes to sleep, it will not turn back on. I have to hold the power button and restart it. What's up with that?
Also, I really like the background I'm using, and I want it for my main computer. Where can I find the stock Ubuntu backgrounds?