I had a similar problem. I didn't have to really hack anything to fix it. All I had to do was click on the downward pointing arrow next to the menu item to drop down one of the submenus
Pages * <---
As long as all my sub-menues where collapsed, the whole menue would collapse down to the icons.
I'm not crazy about this, and I think it's new.
My solution is to leave some of the sub-menues open, pages and posts, then it's always the "wide" word and icon view.
Another way of stating it. As long as all your sub-menus are collapsed, the admin bar will collapse to icon view. If you widen it and click on the dropdown arrow on one menu, it will stick open.