Network manager and dbus guys: One of aspects of this tools that they keep integrating into my favorite applications. In 2005, my mail application didn't need a 'X session' and export $(dbus-launch) and somehow worked in ssh -X session. It also didn't need to know about network manager connection state which magically wrong too often.
dbus: My ideal were fine systems without "system wide message bus" and related program interdepedency (now all programs are on single bus which one need other? who knows... you mailer doesn't work? check network-manager!). I am not a big specialist in it, but it seems that d-bus has very limited applicability (low-bandwidth transfers), but seem used as panacea everywhere. Dbus services seem special harm. I need to learn it othervise it would be security concern (something starts somewhere at random time - is it really so nice?). As i see it, system should have single point for starting services, not separate init.d and some black d-box.
Of course 'not upgrading' is never an option because i want and must have new features of rest of system - support for new hardware, new editors, new secutiry updates, new architectures, new videos, new internet browsers. Once i saw in openmoko list hardcore guy who really not upgrading, and using some VAX system with original software, his problems with ftp were nice example of 'non-upgrade' path.