Yes. I like my toolbars to only have the buttons I really need. Which is about 2-4 icons, maybe sometimes even 5 at maximum. So, I need to configure every toolbar to my liking.
Also, I want my desktop to be clean. Usually there is nothing there. Only way to disable it was to install "I hate cashew". If there is any other way, it was not told anywhere. I really hated it so I wanted it gone.
In clean install of KDE 4.8, there seem no configured virtual desktops by default, only several activities. Those can be easily configured and added to panel but that was the default. It seem that KDE folks really try to promote activites.
As I wrote, even if I disabled Nepomuk, it was always starting and running. Those two clicks did not help. Searching from forums, somebody told that there is some application explicitly starting it. So I disabled all KDE mail/calendar/whatever things, and still it started. Then, I deleted the executables. And in clean install, I did notice it.
The thing is, people are complaining that Gnome forces them to use it Gnome-way, without a way modifying the thing. But, KDE does lots of same things, and no-one complains? Sounds unfair to me.
(I am using Awesome window manager normally, not Gnome. But I prefer Gnome 3 over KDE 4.8 if I would not use tiling window manager)