While you may not like or agree with the cosmetic changes applied to 9.10, the vast majority of them are top quality. However, some of the choices left behind oddities that were poor choices or simply overlooked glitches. Either way, they have been present since the beta and never should have made it into the final release.
If you thought that the lack of icons at the bottom of the Places menu and the entirety of the System menu were a mistake, you thought wrong. This isn't an oversight or a glitch, it's a design decision by GNOME.
You can easily bring these icons back by either right-clicking your mouse on the desktop and selecting Change Desktop Background or by going to System/Preferences/Appearance. Either way, you will need to go to the Interface tab and check the box next to Show icons in menus.
Notification or Irritation?
The notification pop-ups from the system tray have also undergone a slight makeover (and new behavior) that just comes off as odd. While the new icons in the notification pop-ups were a good call, the new position they take on the screen is strange. Instead of appearing just below the top panel, at the upper-right corner of the screen, they now appear a full notification pop-up size below the top panel. This makes it seem as though there should be another notification appearing above any notifications that pop-up.
Unfortunately, the behavior of the pop-up notifications have not received a tune up. An option to close the notification is still absent. Instead, it still becomes translucent and can be clicked through when hovered over. Though this isn't a big deal on a desktop or even a large notebook, this is highly irritating on the little 10" screens of netbooks. Adding a little “X” in the top right corner of the notification would be greatly appreciated, and I doubt I'm the only one to say so.
Ubuntu Netbook Remix Sidebar
At the bottom of the main menu in Ubuntu Netbook Remix Edition, you can clearly see a small band of brighter opacity than the rest of the sidebar. I'm not sure if that is supposed to be there or not, but it sure looks out of place to me.