My screen is 1280 by 800. I always keep two explorer windows open (like the old Norton Commander or now Total Commander) with some space between them so I can drop files into other applications. Thus tight for space.
What I could do in XP but not in vista or 7 was to drag any column to the width I wanted. For example in relation to size, I really do not need to see KB or MB - it is obvious what it is, so I prefer to drag the column width to hide this information. Also the Type column, one only needs a few pixels width to allow you to sort by type, 80 pixels is a waste of space.
By limiting to 80 pixels, Mr Gates is limiting the amount of space I can allocate to eg, Name. Sorry I can't add a shot of my desktop to clarify what I mean.
Thus apart from moving to Total Commander I don't see any option. At least on my system, the option you recommend does not work, or at least doesn't allow me to hide the KB, MB part of the size column. But thanks anyway. Hopefully Windows 8 will address the issue.