Thanks to all that sent in results and screenshots of the test below. The news was not good though, as it broke in just about every other browser (including IE6/Win) that I didn’t have a chance to test last night. Using
position: absolute; was the major culprit here, and in IE6/Win placed the text miles away from the icon. Oh well, not great.
It’s an idea I’d like to play around with some more, just for fun. If you’re replacing the text with a transparent image of some kind — then it appears that Ben’s original idea works fine. Of the screenshots I received, the icon seems to show up properly. This could possibly be used like a variant of the background-replacing-text trick that Douglas Bowman has explained. But getting an icon and text to work requires more experimentation. Onward.