Hey macondo, first I'd like to say hi and welcome to the community and ... THANKS for the howto's you posted!!
I guess you are most concerned about mysql avahi and samba. I have a utility script that can help you discover WHY the system wants to put those on. It is called `lsneeds`.
USER:$ lsneeds -h
lsneeds version 0.4
Usage: lsneeds [-q] [-d <path>] <package-name>
Usage: lsneeds [-n] [-l] [-d <path>]
Usage: lsneeds [-h] [--help]
Provides a list of items that have a dependency
on <package-name>. a.k.a. "what needs <package-name>".
Running lsneeds on avahi gives me such:
Searching for packages that need avahi...
You can find it in this post:http://forum.vectorlinux.com/index.php?topic=12772.0