"the problem is not bigger toolbar buttons, which are good for usability in many ways ... the real problem is that we cram so many (often stupid) things into our toolbars ...
"so when 'mail' appears in a painting program's toolbar (kolourpaint) one really ought to say themselves, 'wait a minute! this isn't an email program!"
I agree it could be solved by a more careful selection of toolbar actions. But the problem is that I didn't decide on the existing ones like "mail" - kdelibs did. The only ones I added were the zoom actions. Sure I could override the KDE defaults with noMerge="1" like I did with the "View" menu but this something that should really be solved on the kdelibs level.
Back to the question of which ones should go. Here's my personal preference:
6 actions - measuring that up with "Text Under Icons", it's actually smaller than the KDE 3 KolourPaint with "Icons Only". This is great but how do I know that the majority of people agree with my personal opinion? I would fight tooth and nail to keep the undo/redo and zoom actions, at least, but maybe everyone else in the world really does email their doodles all the time?
I agree in principle with bigger icons but the text just adds to the visual clutter after one learns what the buttons are. If we have fewer buttons, won't tooltips be sufficient?