I used to face this issue with Gnome when Beryl and Compiz were introduced. Even after that, due to bugs found in various themes we had to avoid using the animations on desktops for a while. Now all is good on my laptop. Its all eye candy and fun.
I was hit by the similar issue while I was trying out Kubuntu 8.04 for few systems and found that
kwin --remove temporarily resolves the issue.
All I wanted is the permanent fix as I’m going to clone the installations on many more boxes in near future. So, here it is if you too are hunting for the it.
1) In konsole get into ~/.kde/env
2) and edit the file kdewm.sh
3) You find the following line
4) Remove compizmanager from it and save the file
5) Logout and login back
You will find title bar working perfectly fine.
PS: This disables animations which you have enabled. Also note that this issue is found on Kubuntu 8.04 which uses KDE 3.5.x. Kubuntu 8.10 with KDE 4.x seem to be working fine.
Ubuntu Forums Post: [kubuntu] no minimize maximize or close icons in upper right