One of the most popular alternate launchers, ADW Launcher, perhaps known best for being bundled with CyanogenMod, has just received a welcome update. Version 1.20 now grants you the ability to fluidly resize your widgets, much like the launcher provided by MOTOBLUR. This allows you to treat your desktop much more like a customizable canvas than a rigid set of squares.
Along with this update, developer Ander Webbs also released an auxiliary service called ADW Notifier. Put simply, ADW Notifier puts a counter tag on application icons showing how many notifications it currently has. The tag works equally well on the desktop or in your dock.