If you enable the "desktop" toolbar on your taskbar and have a single folder setup on any drive on your system, you can add shortcuts as needed and not have to run an additional application. I used to run a dock all the time but the desktop toolbar is much faster for me.
I have used every dock out there. I like rocketdock, RK Launcher and Objectdock about the same. What I would love to see and I think it is illegal but some developers have attempted this with limited success is a the genie effect of OS X