I too was annoyed about losing the ability to launch a terminal from the Desktop, until I realised that It's silly to use the mouse to launch the terminal that you're about to type in! A quick trip to system settings allowed me to bind Ctrl+Alt+T to 'launch terminal'. I liked this so much that I changed it on my GNOME 2 desktop too (that I can't upgrade to GNOME 3 because it insists on needing 3d acceleration... I'm yet to be convinced that this is desirable or necessary).
It's also neat how you can launch a terminal by hitting the Windows key (or Alt+F1) and just typing 'term' and hitting enter. Same for launching or switching to any other application.