Hi Adrian Loughman,
If you would like to use the regular RadItems in your RadPanelBar you could simply use the Items collection of RadPanelBarGroupElement. You could use the following as a guide:
1. Drag and drop a new instance of RadPanelBar on your Form
2. Add a few groups using the Items collection of your RadPanelBar
3. Select a group and then use its Items collection to add elements.
The purpose of EnableHostControlMode is to allow you to add any controls in your groups. If you need only basic items as RadButtonElement, RadLabelItem, etc. I suggest you to use the Items collection of RadPanelBarGroupElement to add what you need.
Please tell me if I could be of any further assistance.
the Telerik team