You're just purposely trying to evade my point, rather than meeting it. Yes, there are alternatives to many of the GNU utilities. I, too, could probably name a dozen embedded Linux distros or so that don't use GNU code to any larger extent, but that's just besides the point.
The point is that the systems the vast majority of people use (say, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, &c.) are heavily based on GNU. So much so, in fact, that it if you really seek a single qualifier for it, it would be more appropriate to call it GNU than to call at Linux. At the core of the system lies all of the GNU system, including the coreutils, GCC, binutils, bash, texinfo, gzip, glibc, all the reimplementations of basic system tools like grep, sed, awk and what have you not. What you're normally actually using, as a user, is more often than not GNU code. (And that applies to very many GUI users, too, seeing how GNOME is part of GNU.)
Also, I'm not trying to force you to call the system GNU/Linux instead of Linux, honestly. I, too, usually call it Linux, but only because that's what I and others have become used to, not because I think that it is the most correct denomination to use. (Well, only when I speak with laymen, though, really. When I speak with my friends, I can usually leave out the "Linux" part of it completely and just say that I use "Debian".) On the other hand, I certainly have no wish to actively discredit GNU's extremely pivotal role in the system.