No, I'm afraid there isn't. And yes, it is a waste of space and limited in controls available. Many people have complained about it.
Is there a previous version that would have the vert tool bar that gives some of the nice features of 11?
Im currently on 6 and would like to upgrade. Id like to be able to add graphics, PDFs and such to my data.
Well, the status toolbar changed in vs. 10. I would steer away from vs. 10 because it was very buggy. Vs. 9 (be sure to run all updaters to 9.0v3) was very solid and had old toolbar. vs. 11 has filtered portals (which rock). I'm unsure if FMI is even selling vs. 9.
Version comparisons are listed here: http://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-pro/all-features.html