Hello Satansbodygurd! Yes, you are correct, it is called the "Dock", and the best one you can use is the RK launcher, because of it's customization potential. The download link is : http://home.cogeco.ca/~rklauncher/
Also, you will find the "Aladdin Lamp's Effect" for Direct X in the Hot News section. Download that in order to attain the minimizing and maximizing effect.
To get skins for this dock, pls go to either www.DeviantART.com
, or possibly www.customize.org
As you may already know, objectdock is also a good alternative, but it doesn't have the aladdin effect. Thus, you might not want it!!!
As for Dashboard, use Avedesk. Link: www.avedesk.org/
The widgets are all over the web.
Hope I helped!