Thanks for the tutorial! It helps a lot and I do need the QL (and no, I don't think that pinning to the taskbar achieves the same purpose)!
However, here's my experience on the QL disappearance - it stays where it is as long as nothing major happens to the system, i.e. nothing gets installed. If I install a new theme - say by downloading from the MS Windows 7 site - sometimes the QL disappears on the next reboot. It has also disappeared after I have installed Samurize - although it now runs fine along with my Samurize config. Why would it disappear after a theme or a program would get installed - I do not know.