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In my experience, ROX-Filer works very well with any WM/DE, including XFCE. I haven't tried ROX's desktop icons combined with xfdesktop, though. If I wanted desktop icons and this combo didn't work, I would disable xfdesktop (actually, I did that last time I tried xfce4 anyway because i prefer setting my wallpaper with something like Esetroot and xfdesktop didn't really add any value)
No matter what environment I try switching to, I always seem to end up back with Openbox + Rox, though.