Gnome 2.28 will have menus_have_icons=false by default. <http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=557469>
However, some menu items should have icons regardless of the value of that setting. The Human Interface Guidelines already allude to this: "Show icons for bookmark entries on the Bookmarks menu that indicate the
type of the bookmark, even if the user has globally turned off icons for other
menu items on the desktop" <http://library.gnome.org/devel/hig-book/stable/menus-standard.html.en#menu-standard-bookmarks>. In future there will be expanded guidelines on this <http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=588668>.
These menu items in Nautilus should have always-show-icons set:
* all applications in the "Open With" submenu (patch available at <http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=546916#c11>)
* "Home Folder", "Computer", "Templates", and other named locations in "Places"/"Go" (but not "Search for Files...")
* all bookmarked locations in "Places"/"Bookmarks"
* all history locations in "Go".