Here's a screenshot of my upcoming release of the Kuartet Desktop Project. I've been collaborating with Jason Martinez and you can see the influence of his Four Corners mockups (I don't know the link. Search kde-look for Four Corners or browse KDE4 Brainstorm).
The Manager has gotten a facelift. I've written some corner applets (inspired from SymphonyOS) and a new Sidebar applet (inspired from Vista). For more details, check http://chillmatic.blogspot.com for my development journal.
I'm close to releasing this major upgrade. If you are in any way interested in writing plugins for the Manager or Sidebar, or have any design ideas, please, PLEASE, contact me at nuskoollabs _at_ yahoo _dot_ com. I'm hoping to recruit some Karamba developers to increase the pace of development.