hi Khuzema, since my making this post and now, i have never had such a need as the functionality that you are after. All i wanted was a tabbed UI without the dropdown effect that you seek.
As such, I'm unable to invest time into it at this point, however, i can give you direction and if i were you, i'd start by downloading the CSS Friendly menu adapter and looking at the css provided to dropdown the menu.
Then i'd try to adapt that CSS to the current tabbed menu control's CSS since the rendered output of this tabbed menu is the same render of the CSS Friendly menu adapter.
Sounds like cake, but like all things, easier said than done, so if you managed to pull it off successfully, feel free to post a comment in case someone else was looking for your same functionality. Many thanks.
Excellent stuff sir! Really help me understand how to create custom controls. Thanks