personally, I like to stick with official builds of CyanogenMod. I recommend sticking with EITHER the official Clockworkmod build for a recovery, OR use PhilZ Touch recovery, as it adds quite a few features, as well as an easy to use theme system so you can customize a bit.
You're good sticking with the default CyanogenMod kernel, but I personally like Chaos kernel, as it also adds more features, as well as more customization in terms of performance and such. Just be careful with it if you use it.
But it all depends on what you like, the way you use your phone, or what you use it for. How often you use it, what apps you like, etc.
You might even want to just stick with the stock rom for a while. It's pretty good by default, and if you're used to another phone OS, it will certainly help you get used to Android in general again. Particularly KitKat.
Definitely as mentioned before, read the stickies for tutorials, available roms, etc.