So, I just purchased, installed, and ran Timbuktu for OS X. It's got this little menu-thingy that started off in the top-right corner of the screen, just below the menu bar. When I clicked it, the standard Timbuktu menu appeared ("Timbuktu info", "Open Timbuktu", etc.) I thought that its location was kind of annoying, though, so on a whim, I option-clicked it, and voila, like the control strip, I could drag it all over the screen, including onto the menu bar. So, it's a super-easy highly customizable menu-ling, as far as I can tell.

My question is whether anyone has implemented this kind of thing as a general interface add-on. Anyone who has used Other Menu, BeHierarchic, Action Menus, or heck, Now Menus (from back in the days) knows how nice it is to have customizable, system-wide menus. To be able to drag 'em around and put them anywhere on the screen (including on the menu bar!) is gravy. Are these things already out there (and I've just been clueless)?
Every single 'menu' utility in OS X PB was just as you describe. In other words not really a menu, but a floating app.

What was really cool about ACTION Menus (and even better, Now Menus) was the ability to set any menu item's hotkey. This would only work with real menu items however, not floating application pretending to be menus. Perhaps then one ought to re-think whether these custom-menu-wannabes are a good thing.
If you're looking for a very cool system wide heirarchical menu for OS X, try PiDock from PiDog software. I use it, and find it crucial to my work flow. You can customize the root directory to contain your most used items and folders, plus registration is totally up to you! The author will accept any amount you think is reasonable!

Check it out:PiDock
Although piDock works, I thought of it as rather annoying. There are a few must haves for OSX however, you a probably aready aware of them.
First off, Snard. Its a dockling that holds whatever you want, file or app.
I realize its not exactly what your looking for as far as floating paletts/menus but its a really handy app.
Secondly, get ASM, it replaces the Application swicher on the right hand side.
Although this too is not what you looking for, its nice to have back incase you don't know about it. (I hope they figure out how to make it a floating menu like in os9-).
Ok, lastly...sorry its not a floating palett but it does acces system wide stuff, I think of it as a cross of the Dock and Sherlock. LB - launch browser, its a really cool app that is movable (I...think...?) that can launch apps, open files...etc...

Anyway check it out for yourself!
After using Snard for a while, and some other third party utilities for Mac OS X, I find that the dock and the Finder toolbar are perfect for me, but that's just my opinion.

A-Dock has been recommended as a good substitute for the Dock in OS 9, though, if anybody was wondering.