Xplorer2 sports a tabbed, 3-paned interface. The first displays the file and folder hierarchy for easy navigation. The other 2 panes are specific folders, which make it really easy to move files between two places or work with two sets of files at once. You can save favorite locations or even bookmark sets of folders associated with particular tasks and projects. Xplorer2 is self-contained (therefore thumb drive-friendly) and has a very mature set of keyboard shortcuts, which reader Ludwig summarized for us in an email. Check 'em out after the jump.
After just a few minutes of playing with Xplorer2 it's easy to see all the places where Windows Explorer really does fall short. Got a favorite alternate file manager? Tell us about it in the comments. Xplorer2 Lite is a free download for personal use, and it's Windows only. Thanks, Ludwig!