Thank you for replying, Brink and Imperfect1. Every one of those features is enabled, and I make use of them occasionally. The main problem is that they are terribly inaccurate, or don't properly record your folder history at all. I'll give you some examples:
Recent Items: Only shows files you've accessed, not folders. If you rename a file, then copy it to another folder, neither the new filename nor the folder you placed the file in will show up in this list. Only the outdated filename will be in there.
Jump Lists: I use these quite often to pin my most accessed folders to Windows Explorer (which is itself pinned to the Start Menu). Under the "Recent" column of such a list is a listing of folders you've been to, but as I said in my previous post these only get remembered if you accessed a file in one of them (excluding archives, unless an extraction is done). It won't show a history of every single folder you've recently been in, nor any you've just renamed. I usually check here first, but more often than not the folder I want, and have just been in, isn't listed. Jumplist Launcher looks interesting, but doesn't really solve the problem (unless you plan on adding a whole lot of folders to it). Between the jump list function already in Windows 7, and the ability to create new toolbars (which you can just minimize to just one small icon and arrow on the taskbar), it doesn't really add anything new other than groups.
Recent search box suggestions: Flaky as heck, and kind of a cumbersome way to find folders you want to access. If I type D:\ I get no suggestions, and even if I hit return to do a full search, I will get no hits at all more often than not, even when the search term is typed exactly as the file or folder is named. Sometimes I'll get a bunch of irrelevant results instead. It doesn't want to give results for my Windows drive (C:\) either and likes to crash Windows Explorer occasionally too (which it just did again when I typed C:\*.pdf). I know this is an area that bothers users, as there has been much talk about its usefulness in Windows 7 on the Microsoft website. As implemented, it is a mediocre feature at best (Windows XP search worked much better).
Windows Explorer auto suggest: Doesn't work well at all. If I type "D:\Programs" for instance, I'll get suggestions for anything that is in that directory, but not any suggestions for subfolders/files deeper in (D:\Programs\Networking\Browsers\Plugins\Testing" for example). The only way to get to a subfolder this way is to type the full path manually, which would be way slower than simply double clicking folders/subfolders a whole bunch of times. Using known filenames or wildcards, like *.txt for example, yields a search online via Firefox instead of on my hard drive.
Auto Complete: If I open the Run menu, and type D:\ for example, I'll get a list of recently open files, but no folders. The list tends to be inaccurate too. Renamed files show up under their original filename, not their new one. Moved files show as being in their old location, not their new location. Using wildcards, like *\Browsers doesn't do anything. When I typed D: I got a list of 12 files and folders. Only two were accurate and worked lol.
History buttons in Windows Explorer: Regarding that little tiny down arrow next to the big blue arrow buttons; this is the closest thing to what we're seeking. It is the only thing that will show the last ten folders you've been to recently, and in proper order. Unfortunately this particular history gets erased the instant you close the Windows Explorer window.
Search program and files (bottom of the Start menu): This actually works fairly well. It doesn't always find what you're looking for though, and oft times you get too many irrelevant results. You'll also get duplicate results if what you're searching for is found in multiple libraries/locations, where each folder is a different location, but the name is the same. It also doesn't seem to work for the C: drive, other than showing you a list of folders in the root when you type C:\ (no subfolders).
Thanks again for trying to help. It is very appreciated. Unfortunately I doubt this is something that will ever work in the useful way we wish it would. I wouldn't be surprised if it is one of those things that we'll see work better in the next version of Windows, if Microsoft listens to their customers that is.