The behavior should be the same in SolidWorks 2007 and 2008.
WhenSolidWorks goes into Edit Part mode, it shows the Part version
ofthe CommandManager (with an extra section at the beginning
for"Edit in Assembly" specific tools. When it switches tothe Part
CommandManager, it has the same tab active that was lastactive when
you were in a part. I just tested this in SolidWorks2007 and 2008
and the behavior is the same.