As a sysadmin I find I just have to dig a bit to find what to remove. All the gui config tools. All the tools that are meant to help people who don't really know anything about Linux or UNIX. A lot of the stuff that tries to "help." I agree that recent tools tend to be neat but underdocumented, fragile, and destructive.
I understand the security rationale for making logs readable only by root but it makes working on servers adminstered by random offshore people ($5/hour, no IT abilities whatsoever) quite difficult (hey, this server is networked half-duplex and the admin doesn't know what that means. Hmm, the time is off but the admin doesn't know what ntpd is. Why is the sysadmin rebooting that Linux server repeatedly to try to solve a problem that does not require rebooting?) as you need to analyze the problem, not describe the symptoms, and it's harder without read access to the logs. The Linux assumption that someone with root should have a clue is long gone at large companies; the very first thing to go to the least knowledgeable is the root account, and it is widely shared but only to others who don't know the O/S. Note that the logs are readable on most other UNIX flavours (mostly dying flavours at this point). I'd suggest fixing the security problems with the logs or confining them to specific restricted files instead of just hiding all the logs from users. Not every Linux box is used by one guy in his basement.
RHEL no longer has a whole lot of competition in the data centre (real competition, that is, stuff that works and has a reasonable vendor). I don't really expect it to improve at this point. No pressure. Should be OK as long as it doesn't degrade too much more.