I think this idea for Ibex would be the best choice, with the following changes:
1) Integrate more transparencies. Like what you have for inactive make that for active, and what you have for inactive make even more transparent where you have it transparent.
2) Show the panel that you have in your light one, but put it at top to you can also show your dock.
3) With the dock, also show what happens if you open a document folder- say you can see all of the pics or doc previews in the same area.
4) Create the above in a brown-mocha type color scheme, one that would integrate well with the current Hardy Heron wallpaper.
What do you think ? One with a panel is included here.