David Siegel posted that Nautilus uses too much space for user controls (chrome). He uses a patch and a PPA supplied in the referenced story to go from this:
status bar. If you agree with David, you can get 90% of his improvements without needing to patch or add a repository.You can't remove the "Home" and "Computer" icons or move the breadcrumbs onto the toolbar.
Step 1: Open a Nautilus window (Places > Home) and go to the View menu. Uncheck "Location Bar" and "Status Bar."
Step 2: Go to System > Preferences > Apearance in the main menu and click on the "Interface" tab. Change "Toolbar button labels" from "Text below icons" to "Icons only."
Step 3: In the "Appearance" dialog, choose the "Fonts" tab and change
Application Fonts to Sans 9 or Sans 8.
Want the max? Open the Nautilus preferences and go to the Behavior tab. Uncheck "Always open in browser windows." Welcome to "Spatial Nautilus."