Re: Windows-toolbar behavior in gnome (your not going to believe this!)
> I have looked fairly carefully at the metacity.schemas file and I
> not found a way to alter the window behavior to customize metacity.
> now using KDE because gnome/metacity had diminished my productivty.
> miss the simplicity of gnome's presentation and would use it again
I think sawfish gives you the controls you want. Here is how to switch to sawfish after installing sawfish and sawfish-gnome.
Go to the Current Session tab. Find metacity in the list of running programs, and change the Style drop down box from "Restart" to "Normal". Now you can kill metacity without it immediately respawning.
killall metacity && sawfish &
To get it to save sawfish as your WM, go to the Session Options and select "Automatically save changes to session".
Then go to the Focus tab on the Windows settings in Desktop Preferences (or run "sawfish-ui" directly).
I had focus given to new windows for a few days but turned it off just now because I found it to be a PITA.