BLZ, not sure it's what you're after but if you want to shave off a heck of a lot of UI real estate, install this extension:
Basically it adds an icon to the extension menu which upon clicking produces an easy to navigate dropdown menu of all your bookmarks. You can basically hide and dispose of the bookmark bar and use it in preference. It's not something down the side but it is vertical, and uses a heck of a lot less real estate.
PS: ZXT, It's a good thing that Chrome hasn't become as bloated as Firefox (which runs as slowly as Safari) and I prefer the simplified and less bloated UI. Out of the box it runs faster (independently proven), supports more standards (again, proven) and is a cleaner product (less of a memory hog) than Firefox (I even dumped Opera for it). Not saying it's perfect, but it's better than Firefox by a long shot. The only redeeming feature of Firefox is the number of extensions it has available.