I think my tastes are similar to you. I've tried all the ROMs, from AOSP/AOKP, CM10, MIUI, ICS & Jellybean and, for me, "myrom" V 3.5 (4) is top notch. I haven't tried tethering, but other forum participants report it works well.
It's an Aroma installer, weighing in at 1.5GHz so all apps are available to install or reject, including custom installation. Its super fast and remarkably stable.
An alternative is Jedi (xx), although it's not my favorite.
I've combinted "myrom" with Xone kernel at 2.0 GHz It makes the fast even faster and battery usage isn't too bad, but I'll bet stock kernel is damned good.