Well it's been a fun and rewarding experience, but I've decided to put this project aside. Possibly permanently! About a half a year back I had another surge of interest with the whole thing and refactored a great deal of the code. I also switched to using QT 4.5, and toyed with the idea of bringing the project into Linux. The results can be found on SVN and at sourceforge's download page here. I might get a 1.04 executable up there at some point. However, the 1.03 package is still there if anyone's interested.
Overall it was great to get a solid grasp of QT and also to hone my C++ skills. I would also hope that anyone who still wanted to learn about the various tricks and ins and outs of the windows shell API could find the answers they're looking for inside. Not that surprising, but getting your own shell to play nice without expolrer.exe running wasn't that straightforward. I'm sure I'm not the first to tackle a lot of these issues, but perhaps someone trying to hunt down solutions can find them a bit easier now. Thanks to the few that downloaded!