I'd appreciate some clarification of the situation with panels.
I can see that the panels layouts have been removed because they're old and not really compatible with the latest Zen. Someone is working on updating them for Zen 5.1.
Am I understanding this correctly in that those layouts were used to define the sidebars and content area instead of those being defined in Zen? I guess when they were used, Zen effectively thinks it's showing just a big content area with no sidebars and Panels was dividing up that content area.
I want to understand what it is that those layouts provided that we don't currently have.
I have have built a Zen 5.1 subtheme with a left sidebar. I always want that sidebar on all pages. It's all looking good and working well. Is there any problem with me using Panels just within the Zen content area? I would use the standard layouts that come with Panels or perhaps build my own similar layouts.
I'm also looking at using Display Suite within the Zen content area which seems like a similar situation.