I like to keep my desktop relatively simple and clutter free. As you can see I have a dual-monitor set-up. On the left I use for my main windows, while on the right my transparent terminal and conky help me keep track of everything on my computer.
I'm using Ubuntu 9.04 on a HP laptop.
Icon Set: Mac4Lin
Transparent terminal (embedded onto the desktop) - this took some work, but using compiz I managed to get it to work.
Conky config available on request
Otherwise my desktop is completely empty, no icons, nothing.