mixing mathtext and regular text. possible?

Does anybody know a way to mix mathtext and regular text,

    > for example in the axis label?

    > Something like

    > xlabel(r'\\rho^2 along axis')

    > doesn't work. I know this is mentioned in the manual. Just
    > wondering if somebody knows a workaround rather than using
    > the full Latex option.

This isn't supported yet, but it would be nice to do this. The two
things that have kept me from focusing more attention to mathtext are
the fact that the bakoma fonts we use are so bad noone wants to use
them (Nicholas recently submitted a patch for PS which allows
matplotlib mathtext to work with native PS AFM fonts) and that there
is not TeX/LaTeX integration. Nonetheless, it would be nice to
support this syntax.

The current workaround is to use the roman fonts

    > xlabel(r'\\rho^2\ \rm{along\ axis}')

but since kerning is not supported in the bakoma fonts it doesn't look
that good, typically.