Yes, please, but only as long as the word _static_ is taken out of that sentence. Current default with two panels just wastes user's time on moving the mouse up/down the whole screen all the time. However, users should be able to put their own stuff into the panel (i.e. the panels should not be static).
If more real estate is needed for stuff on the panel, we should have a corner panel (i.e. something that covers, for instance, top and left side of the screen, so that things are kept close to each other, not far apart like now).
> doing away with the idea of static workspaces
As long as the point here is the word _static_ (i.e. preconfigured number of workspaces). It is absolutely essential to avoid the classical Windows/Mac look where gazillion windows overlap each other and create unmanageable mess.
And it is not true that regular users don't know about workspaces. I support some that are so used to workspaces, that not having would greatly confuse them.