Without the GNU project's work on development tools, legal infrastructure, and awareness of the importance of software freedom, half or most of the packages in a standard distro wouldn't exist.
As for what you find unpleasant - did you really think 28 years of campaigning and working on a public-interest project at the expense of various megacorporations could be a perfectly smooth ride with unanimity at every junction?
I agree that a desktop environment, windowing system, media player etc. should be in the system.
You're wrong about some of your suggestions for removal. The user might not use, for example, sed directly, but it gets used by scripts involved in keeping the system running. It's essential system software.
I'm also dubious about your claim that the GNU percentage would be much lower than 8%. I think it might be higher.