I often have to remote onto live servers. When I'm done, I go to the Start menu to log off, but the Shut Down button is always lying in wait for me and trying to get me to shut down a live server. Is there any way that it can be removed from my Start menu e.g. registry switch? If it could be removed on a per-user basis, that would be even better.
Here's a good Microsoft KB article that describes what you are after.
[User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu & Taskbar] * Disable and remove the Shut Down command or Remove and prevent access to the Shut Down command
As it 1) brings up a dialog with options to log off, restart, shut down or disconnect and 2) if you select shutdown it will warn you and require another confirm - doing it by accident doesn't seem too likely...
...if the user is not an administrator, only the log off and disconnect options will be enabled.
Update: dkbits answer would be the best way to go if you really want to remove the button ^^
It can be removed using group policies. Either with a domain controller security policy or a custom one applied to the server or user.
Expand, Configuration>admin templates>start menu and taskbar and choose the remove and prevent access to the shut down command and enable this policy.
if you need to shutdown the server with the button missing you can use "shutdown -i" from the command prompt