As for services that aren't "up":
* cups -- run from xinetd when being printed to. And no, my netbook isn't a printserver
* NFS -- made part of actual first NFS mount
* avahi -- sure, can be added.
* Networking -- network manager is loaded and started. if there was a network driver for the eee901 it'd have a link in the time.
* bluetooth -- the device doesn't have BT.. so no I don't want that service started
(and note that our prototype has about half a second to a second to spare for services you want to add)
As for "login" needing NFS: sure if you configure NFS root, then you'll pay the price for NFS. I don't consider it acceptable that anybody who DOESN'T use NFS root has to pay that price. Even on a generic distro; the distro installer KNOWS nfs root is being used.
So I disagree with you that this isn't applicable to general distributions. General distributions will have to deal with more cases, but they have to, and can, deal with them smartly: only the people who use a feature should pay the price for it in terms of boot time. That doesn't make the distro less generic... and yes it means the distro needs to get several things right, but I consider that fair game.