I'm no different than anyone else in that I'll use what I'm used to.
We all place/d our icons in a specific spot to know where they are.
I just counted mine and I have 30 on my desktop not counting what I've added to the panel.
4 are the default XFCE icons and I use them.
Of the rest, 16 are work related and 6 of those 16 are launchers such as Filezilla, Crossover, xvidcap, Foxit Phantom etc.
The rest are project folders I'm working on plus a catch all folder I keep whatever in that I want to back up along with the project folders at the end of the day.
I'm comfortable with icons and they're adequate.
I don't have to memorize their names nor find them in a list.
What I really need is a wider monitor or spring for dual monitors because when I'm doing research I normally have 3 - 4 workspaces open and flipping between them due to the fact the panel is only so wide and can only list so much of what is open and running.
I've gotten so used to it that if my box doesn't look busy, I ain't happy.
As an aside, I have some icons I want to use for my desktop folders, could someone point me to how that is done or at least give me a hint where they are stored?