I'm afraid I can't help you with lxpanel/upgrade issues, but if you just want to get your home folder back, go into root mode again and check who owns the /home/yourusername folder. If it's not you, but root or something, change it back to you, and change the permissions, recursively, to give you read write and execute permissions on everything in the folder. Pcmanfm makes this fairly easy (select the folder, right-click, properties, permissions) but you can do it from a terminal too:
Originally Posted by rolypolycat
where yourname is your actual user name.
sudo chown -R yourname:yourname /home/yourname
sudo chmod 770 -R /home/yourname