for carputer use? explorer, until i get my software written then it'll be that.
desktop use? i've used several: aston was the first one i started using. its pretty stable and nice, easy to theme, but lacks some features. blackbox for windows is my favorite in the line of minimal managers. i used it for a long time, and it has good plugins. very stable. uses hardly any memory. then of course theres cloud9 and ge0shell. i liked ge0shell better, cloud9 was very unstable. i bet they are better now, i haven't used them in a while but they were definately the best looking and great features, just kinda unstable. of course thats what they get for coding it in vb =p