I notice that a lot of the tweaks mentioned in the article can be performed on the stock Ice Cream Sandwich system without requiring the installation of a new rom. In some cases (e.g. numeric battery percentage) it's as easy as installing an app (in this case the "Battery" app). Other customizations like changing the number of rows and columns on the home screen, home screen rotation, removing the search bar, and even kernel performance tweaks are possible as well though they require some degree of command-line fu.
If you want to do these kinds of changes all at once in a user-friendly way then CM or similar is still the way to go. But I find increasingly that the Android versions as shipped by Google are already flexible and powerful enough to do most of what I want to do. This is a good thing as it indicates just how much Android has grown and developed since the early days where mods were required.