many users recently reported problems with GNOME's "Bluetooth applet" - like missing services or unability to connecto to other devices. In my case I had all functions working - but only when logged in as root. As an ordinary user I had an applet in the notification area, but it was "dead".
Searching a lot in the Internet, I occasionally found this bug report: http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg611962.html. When I added myself to the "netdev" group, the applet started to work again.
So, if you have problems with "Bluetooth applet", just try to add your users to the "netdev" group.