1. I never see Shading Windows in Gnome. Thought that was Xfwm's feature
2. If you want to add an application from the menu to the panel, you can navigate to it, right-click the app then choose "Add to Panel". If you want to make custom launcher... well, I think you can add it to the menu first (right-click Menu -> Edit Menu -> New Item), then add it to Panel later.
1. Yep it's there for Gnome 2, miss it for it's one of the best features ya know
2. Kewel! trying it now, thought it was something simple.
On a side note, used to run Fluxbox back a few years ago. One of the best features it has was it's tabbing, you could just drag a window into another window and you could tab. Example have a terminal session open then drag another application like Firefox within that window and tab.
Anways thanks for the heads up about editing the menu