After reading Hanselman’s post about ConEmu, I installed it and tried briefly to customize the UI a bit. The menus and options are ultra-confusing, so I only got so far. Thankfully, Josh Earl did what I was hoping someone would do: he made a sweet looking configuration and posted the details.
Now I’ve got a Quake-style Windows console at my fingertips. And yes, Quake style slide down is actually an option in ConEmu’s latest builds, so it’s safe to say it will remain pinned to my taskbar.