When reading the Posts in mikesubuntu.blospot, I found a post about the gnome dock. So, I tried it out and, let me tell you, it is brilliant. It is really simple.
You type home(Windows) + SPACE and then it comes up and you can get qiuck acces to running/not running applications.
If you want to go to the extreme, you could remove gnome-panel from startup apps and just use the gnome dock!