I have this problem too. Starting on the desktop (on the Hardy Beta live CD) Alt + Control + tab doesn't work in getting you to the top or bottom panels. I'm on a new HP desktop machine. This functionality used to work with the Gutsy CD although I was using a different machine then. You can't see the top or bottom panels with flat review if you start on the desktop either. Can't remember if you could before.
Also, doing Alt + F1 to bring up the application menu does work (and Orca reads across the whole top panel when you press the keystroke) but then if you use flat review to try to move over to the other menues or applets and do a left click to activate them it doesn't work - you just end up back on the desktop.
As for Pigeon, it doesn't seem to be as accessible for me as the accessible apps page for it says it should be. I can't alt + tab between the typing area and the message log, I have to use flat review.
Not sure what's going on here.
By the way, can anyone tell me if the commands to get accessibility up and running on the Hardy CD are the same for the previous ones? i.e. F5, 3, enter, enter. It doesn't work for me on Hardy. I have to manually run Orca, go through setup and then use control +alt + backspace to restart Gnome then re-run Orca again to get it going.