Ok, the latest update.
i have installed kiba dock with the help of the instructions found here
I have also installed gdesklets, this was rather trivial and just a case of finding the correct repository.
I now only have issues of rounding the edges:
kiba dock has a strange diagonal blue stripe in the background, and the icons have black squares. Still need to figure out how the settings change this.
This is also the problem with gdesklets. Initially they were transparent and now they are either completely white and non-functional or they work but with a black background.
In case anyone doesn't know - trying to add application launchers takes a minute or two to figure out. Add a panel to the task bar and choose the application launcher option then drag the appropriate icons onto the dock.
Beryl is ok in parts- very difficult to find the correct setting, and more importantly find the correct documentation to change what you like. I still haven't changed the skydome or any of the commands to execute desktop shifting.
There is big issue with the windows and the dragging bars at the top which don' appear when beryl is used over gnome. i.e. there is no minimise, no maximise and close window. I also cannot move windows and change the focus away from windows.