I don't have a general solution to your problem, but I've noticed that the icons on the panel have several kinds of tooltips.
If you use Smooth Tasks, you will have to set up tooltips in the settings for that task manager. I haven't checked but this is probably true about other task managers too.
I have 8 widgets and 4 application icons on my panel. Five of the widgets and all of the application icons show tooltips. Those of the widgets that don't are Konqueror Profiles, the System Tray and Smooth Tasks. On the other hand the individual icons in the System Tray do get tooltips or popups of different kinds, and the individual icons in Smooth Tasks show tooltips if I set up Smooth Tasks the right way.