A helpful tool for newbies in the Kitchen is DiffMerge (free software utility http://www.sourcegear.com/diffmerge/
) that allows you to view the differences in folders and files. It is a great tool when you want to see what some of the master tool builders are doing in their development. It has really helped me to compare standard builds to custom ROMs.
Basically, download the standard shipped ROM (following the tools provided by jcespi2005 in this thread), and extract it into one RaphaelKitchen Folder, so that you have your SYS and OEM folders
Next, download your favorite Custom ROM and install it on your phone and extract the RAW files using itsutilbin.
Now you can create another RaphaelKitchen-2 Folder and create a new set of OEM and SYS folders using the Raphael Kitchen now with your favorite Custom ROM image.
Finally, you can use the DiffMerge tool to compare both Folders, and you can find the changes made by the master chef. The tool will even let you view all the text based files so you can see all the edits to the rgu, provxml, and txt files...
Hope this helps some of the new chefs out there...