With some tinkering of lockdowns and gconf settings, I have gotten avant-window-navigator working well enough to push to some early beta testers. Very nice applets and a clean modern look. Let's see what kind of feedback I get back tomorrow. :)
Thanks to Kevin for your help with understanding that xrdb is a g-s-d plugin. Testing Motif applications right now to see how the themes are working.
So with that in place I'm giving mplayer, Firefox/Flash and Pulse Audio a stress test to try and get them to crash. So far sound is strong even running remotely over the network, frame rates are excellent. I think the user community will be pleased with these upgrades.