This is down to me I am afraid.
I installed SliM (Simple login manager) to replace GDM in Ubuntu, didn't like it and uninstalled it. I was then dumped to the text based login on my next reboot, so I logged in and started X manually. I was logged in to LXDE, but LXpanel didn't start properly, it started flashing and was unusable, so I opened a terminal from PCManFM, killed the process with pkill and launched LXpanel manually.
LXpanel launches with the wrong menu icon, it now has a "my computer" style icon not the "standard" LXDE icon (by the way is it a Swift or a Swallow?). So I rebooted into XFCE and tried to un-install and re-install, but it hasn't worked, now everytime I boot up I don't get an instance of LXpanel and have to launch it from PCManFm every time and it is missing the icon.
I tried to install the beta version by recompiling the sources, again hasn't fixed it.
Now, whilst I would like to fix this, its not a major problem (I am about to upgrade to 80gb drive in my MSI Wind clone - Advent 4211 from PC World in the UK, to a 320gb one when I have some time over the Christmas holiday), going to give Xubuntu a go, with a fresh install, hopefully I will get on better with it than a Gnome based distro.
I have also got round the the text based login by installing KDE (the sledgehammer approach I know, especially as KDE is near useless on netbook's 1024x600 screen res).