> However, XFCE can quickly be configured to use one auto-hiding vertical panel which is ideal for a widescreen laptop or netbook.
On a netbook I have found that Gnome Shell provides a reasonable setup to run full-screen applications as one press of the Window key brings all the shell GUI. This does not work with auto-hide panels as they do not show up with full-screen.
But so far this is the only thing that I found that Gnome Shell does better then other WM. On a bigger screen XFCE or Gnome-2 are just more productive for me.