I also have like 20 programs on my XP machine within toolbars. On first boot of win 7 I thought it was an atrocious system they set up.
Then I realized of those 20 programs, I rarely run more than 5 or 6 at a time and often times the same ones all the time.
I started using 7 as a workstation, and I realized the top used programs amounts to 7 or 8 tops. All others where quick ten to fifteen minute sessions, once or twice per day. Those I relegated to being pinned in the start menuy. Still easily accessible, but way, way, out of sight.
I used to have about 5 or 6 folders within my toolbars on my XP setup. Now those are all easily accessible from the pinned library. 5 icons down to one.
When I switch back to my XP install, it feels so cluttered now.
I will say that one thing I miss is being able to drag any file into the shortcut and have it work as "open with". For instance opening a .nfo with notepad I would normally just drag the file into the quicklaunch notepad.
I really really urge everyone who saw the new taskband and had the knee jerk reaction to swich back to "XP style" give it another chance for more than three or four days.
I have all the same functionality I had with a filled taskbar compacted down to half a taskbar, I think that's quite a feat to accomplish.