For the record:
- All my machines have more than 512MB RAM. The iBook has 640MB, and both the iMac and the mini have 1GB. Cruftiness can't be a direct function of RAM.
- All my machines have Tiger right now, and I'm having exactly the same kind of trouble with both upgraded setups and reinstalled from scratch. Get this: I have issues on all machines. It's not something specific to a single one.
- One of my machines (the mini) has absolutely zero extensions, preference panes or Input Manager plugins. The only "foreign" software on it is Fink (it doesn't even have Quicksilver installed) and yet it still exhibits the Safari "Copy Link" bug. I use it to read mail remotely via VNC, and Mail.app isn't any speedier when it's the only application running.
- I don't tweak, reskin or otherwise add needless cruft to my machines - besides not liking that sort of thing, I've found throughout the years that the less time I need to start using any machine, the better, and can't be bothered to spend the time to customize any of my machines beyond a simple wallpaper change.
- In case you skipped the previous bullet, I have a very healthy dislike for "dock tchotkes", menu bar hacks, service menu tweaks, input managers and widget hacks. I use Mac OS X for its built-in consistency, not free-for-all tweaking.
- I don't subscribe to the "If you want stable, use Panther" mentality. I paid for Tiger. I expected it to be a stable environment (even if I don't use Dashboard or Spotlight that much, I wanted the rest), and the same goes for the iLife suite.
- As outlined in my HOWTO, I run everything as a non-admin user, and, as such, there is very little an application can do to change system-wide settings. If any application crashes because of that, then it's poorly designed, period.
- Having development tools installed shouldn't affect iLife applications one whit, and I don't have any Safari plugins installed, either, so please stop sending me bogus voodoo - I'm starting to feel like jwz.