[edit: installed 2.1.1 . How the fuck do I actually disable that damned panel and get 1 splitter here? A shame, such huge disappointment, I thought I was wrong in my rant.
Upcoming amarok 2.2 (with dockable dialogs, if those will work) look kind of promising on the video, even though the way features are listed (docking just last, not even 'last but not least') doesn't look terribly great if it is any indicator of views on usability or priorities.
What made 2.1 particularly annoying (and prompted lot of ranting everywhere, myself included) is that in case of Mandriva (and, I heard, Ubuntu), after routine update we just find 1.4.10 removed without any straightforward way to revert. I'd blame packagers if it was 'Amarok 2.0.2' or 'Amarok2 0.1' or something else labelled unstable - but as it is labelled stable, it is entirely reasonable for a distribution to have it default.
On Mandriva in particular, you need to get 1.4.10 from 2009.0 repository - you are not supposed to do this (and it may fail to work for people whom did install 2009.1 afresh. 2009.0 RPMs are not supposed to be used on 2009.1 install. It's a luck when that works).
All the problem stems from how "rewrite" retained the name but entirely lost what the name used to stand for. It is not "excellent player 2.1", it's "average player 0.1", and pretty much nobody wants to overwrite "excellent player 1.4" with "average player 0.1".
Link, see comments for how Ubuntu users generally feel about amarok 2