I've been using slickrun to automate getting to some programs and folders. It's handy and it has autocomplete.
Adam at work showed me a cheap way to get similar functionality.
- Create a folder for shortcuts - I used c:\cuts
- Right click on My Computer and choose properties.
- Click the advanced tab.
- Click on Environment Variables.
- Under system variables, scroll down to one labeled "Path".
- Edit it and add a semicolon after the last variable and add in your shortcut folder path.
- Create a shortcut for any program you want to be able to get to quickly and put it in there. Try giving it a short 2 or 3 letter name.
Now you can run any shortcut you drag there by just typing windows-r and typing in the name. After the first time you run it, the run box will autocomplete.
Perhaps you could make put your desktop in your path... Then as programs install, they will add a shortcut automatically for you. Perhaps you could put your quicklaunch folder in.