I think the Quick Access Toolbar in Revit is an underutilised tool. I very rarely see my clients or students use it beyond its default setup. The quick access toolbar (QAT) resides by default at the top of your screen adjacent the Revit application menu.
The QAT has a setting drop down arrow on the far right. Here you will find options to dock the toolbar below the ribbon instead of above it. You can also turn on and off the default icons. The best thing though, is you can add your own tools from other ribbons to the QAT instead of having to switch between ribbons all the time. To do so, simply right click on a tool in one of your ribbons, and if Revit allows, select 'Add to Quick Access Toolbar'.
Sure, in most cases you could just add a keyboard shortcut instead, but some people prefer a visual setup as opposed to using their memory all the time. I am a big user of keyboard shortcuts myself, but I usually reserve assigning keyboard shortcuts to tools I use on a daily basis. So many of the tools I add to my QAT, are tools I perhaps use less often, tools accessed via drop down menus or to keep the icon in view for quick feedback.
For example, the 'warnings' icon is on my QAT because I can quickly identify if there are warnings in my project/family files simply by seeing if the icon is active or not. Show Mass is another example of easily identifying if the tool is active in the view.
Settings & paste functions is an example of tools with drop down menus that are useful to have on hand much of the time as well. I also have shortcuts for most of my daily paste functions.
There is no hard and fast rule to a good setup, it's going to be different for everyone. If you prefer your icon interface and want to reduce the amount of ribbon switching you are doing, the quick access toolbar might be what you are looking for.
There is a downside I should mention. The QAT setup and order of icons cannot be saved to the Revit.INI file. So with each upgrade or switch of a computer you will have to set it up again, or go without. That happens once a year for me, I can live with that.