This may seem slightly askew from the current conversation but hear me out.
So far, with what builds I've made for myself, I have been able to "strip" the entire build down to just bare essentials just by removing apps from the /system/app or /data folder BEFORE installing a build.
Non-essentials for me would be:
Car Home
Google Search (same as built in search anyway)
Music (I tend to use a different player for this)
Talk
Voice Dialer
and any pre-installed apps that may come with the build.
LauncherPro plus is my launcher of choice, with eye candy enabled.

Of course this is a slightly different platform (HTC Kaiser), but should work the same way for HaReT or XAndroid builds as well. Also, some of the commands entered could be done with Terminal Emulator, giving you a POSIX terminal with "su" already enabled.

Just my $.02
Daily device
Samsung Infuse SGH-I997, CM 10.2/11
x86 device
HP Mini 5101 10" net book
Android 4.4.2