I was experiencing problems with the Network Manager applet. I've posted here and at bugzilla. I was unable to find any answers, and by accident found a work around.
Briefly the trouble is the applet does not appear when the desktop is started in my normal/main user. I've tried to start it manually, and tried reinstalling network manager. I am able to have it appear, however, in the root account when I start into the grphical desktop. It only occurs with the one user. Bugzilla discussed a similar bug and there the fix was related to SELinux. I have set SEL to permissive so this does not apply.
A temporary fix seems to be to plug in an ethernet cable until the desktop starts and then plull it out. I was hoping this workaround might give an indication to the problem.