Well I reinstalled 2012.02 but got the same results, ie incorrect task bar and no icons.
I the rsynced my email to a second partition that was the .kde4/share.
renamed the .kde4 to .kde4.old, logged out end then back in again, still the same problem.
This time I reformatted /home and / during a complete reinstall then upgraded rebooted and had a proper screen when logged in. Also my home partition changed from ext4 to ext2, how I do not know. the reformat set thing to right again.
It does appear that some things, not in .kde4, can really queer this up. It took a complete reformat of the system to get back to square one.
The emails look just fine but only time will tell.
I will have to set up a backup system to make sure that this cannot happen again.
Thans for your reply.