I've heard both arguments, i.e. that the icons on the iconostasis are for the clergy only vs. clergy and the people. Again, I think it is best to follow the advice that most have given here that if you do wish to venerate the icons that you should do so BEFORE any service, whether Vespers, Orthros, Liturgy, etc. begins. As a chanter, it is annoying and distracting when the faithful come to the service 15-20 minutes late, light the candles and venerate the icons. Of course, you don't want to tell people that they CAN'T venerate icons, but you would hope that they have some respect for order.
Personally, I am responsible for setting up the oil lamps in front of the icons. I use this time as a moment of prayer in front of all the icons, asking for intercession, forgiveness, etc. I set up the lamp and venerate each one but do it 20 minutes prior to services beginning.
Another thing that gets me is how many people "incorrectly" venerate the icons, by kissing the faces of those depicted. This is probably a topic for another thread, but I was instructed that the faithful should only kiss the hands or the hair (like on the Holy Napkin or John the Baptist's Head), never the face.