I just don't know what to thick of the date/time in the middle of the top taskbar. It seems like it would get in the way once you have too many programs open. It allows for more tray icons though.
I actually find Microsoft's tray icon quite elegant. Having the clock to the very right and then icons to the left of the clock allows for lots of icons AND lots of tabs.
I'll see if I can make Openbox look better before deciding on GNOME or Openbox.