Yeah, I noticed the same thing, too. Namely, whenever I'm trying to reposition my panel icons, Phoenix is being a little bit of a pain regarding where it will let me drop them, and I feel like I'm having to wrestle with it. In fact, I have, at times, had to remove a panel object, such as the task list, until I got things placed right where I wanted them and then added the interfering object back after I was done. I've never known other distros that use Xfce to have a problem with this. Don't get me wrong, placing things where I want them has, in all cases, been do-able, but it's a rather annoying process to get there.
Also, something else that could use a little bit of improvement in Phoenix: Why is there no menu entry for changing the GDM login screen? I did find the command for the login screen editor the other day, so I can get to it, there's just no menu entry for it.
Oh, and I also tried the update-notifier, but it acted clueless and I couldn't find anything else in Synaptic that did anything similar (might have to try some different repos), so I guess I'll just have to check for updates manually every so often...
Other than that, I'm enjoying Phoenix and am pleased with its wireless detection capabilities and the fact that it's a rolling-release distro. Just a few minor rough edges that need to be polished, that's all.