As usual, the normal disclaimers of modifying your system and potentially bricking it apply.
Previously, I had been using GO Launcher HD as my default launcher to replace the Kindle carousel, using the method of moving the launcher APK to the /system/app directory and setting permissions of the APK using a file manager to User Read/Write/-, Group read/-/-, Others read/-/-, and then rebooting. Unfortunately, this method does not work for ADW Launcher EX. Using the GO Launcher method for ADW Launcher results in a boot loop where ADW immediately crashes with error messages that it has stopped.
If you do find yourself in this kind of boot loop, you can make your way out by navigating to the Search icon, which will bypass the launcher and open the Search application; search for your file manager, like ES File Explorer, and open it so you can get back into your root directory and uninstall the ADW launcher from /system/app. Once that's done, reboot and you'll be back to the regular launcher.
To use ADW Launcher EX as the default launcher, you will need:
Titanium Backup Pro
1. Install ADW Launcher EX as you would any other app.
2. Launch ADW Launcher EX at least once
3. Go into Titanium Backup Pro, find ADW Launcher in the list, long press, and select "Covert to system app"
4. Pressing the Home button should immediately present you with the option to select a launcher. Select ADW and set is as default.
5. Test and reboot.
6. Enjoy your speedy new launcher
This method should work for other versions of ADW, but for all intents and purposes, I have only tried this on ADW Launcher EX. If others have tried with other versions or launchers, please do chime in.
One strange thing that I did notice after doing this was that Titanium Backup Pro, when relaunched, was hanging while "checking for root priveleges". To remedy, I had to go into SuperSU and "Forget" Titanium Backup Pro. After doing that, I rebooted, and granted Titanium Backup Pro root rights and was off on my merry way. I'm not too sure why it happened.
I'm also not entirely sure what Titanium Backup Pro does with "Covert to system app" that makes it work, vs the GO Launcher method of manually moving the apk and changing permissions. If someone can enlighten me on this, it can go a long way in providing modders way of doing this for free, without requiring Titanium Backup + Pro license key (albeit I strongly recommend it, as the Pro features are very useful).