I have attempted a heap of "solutions" but non allow me give a simple
using functions.php /default-icons.php towards the category title, eg.
the nearest I have come replaces the course publish count using str_replace. I'd rather not call the widget completely from the theme since it messes in the order or use jquery, is the a means to do this "easily" or will Wordpress not take.
Certainly the simplest strategy is to edit the corefiles.
In case your using wordpress 3.2.1, visit the folder wordpress-includes and search for category-template.php
And visit line 874...
$link .= ' (' . intval($category->count) . ')';
and include what markup you'll need too, for instance span and getting rid of the brackets.
$link .= '<span>' . intval($category->count) . '</span>';