I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I actually used the default Windows 7 shortcut dock for awhile. But I’ve found something I like much better: Rocket Dock. It takes less mouse clicks to get to the program you want to launch. And it looks better, too!
Edit: Sorry to say, but I’ve found Rocket Dock to be buggy with some of the Docklets installed. Maybe not Rocket Dock’s fault, but rather the fault of the add-ons — I dunno, but now I’m trying the free version of Object Dock. For those that like fine-grained control, I can recommend Mouser’s Launchbar Commander.
If you’ve not tried it, I recommend it (but beware certain docklet add-ons). The installer is a little over 6 Mb, and you can download it using this link. Enjoy!