Hey Mike. Just wanted to pop my head up and say that I completely understand the "I want to install only the bits I need, and leave the rest off" mentality. Like most everyone here, I don't have the time to pursue something like this, but I admire that you're interested and willing to try. I'd be curious to know if you ever make any headway.
There are tools that can open up installer packages and will allow you to customize the bits inside. I used to use one way back in my IT days to prep software to be mass distributed from a server out to hundreds of client machines. That was a while ago though, and now I'm trying to remember what it was called... It may have been this?
If not, something similar. It would basically open up .msi packages and allow you to add/subtract/modify every file copy, every registry edit, every setting of the install process. I even used it to build completely custom installs from scratch on a few occasions. (An .msi file that installs five unrelated apps at once, and modifies the desktop image? Done!)