Hi +Max Voß
, I'm not sure I'm the right person to answer all your questions, but here I go ;) Before I begin, there is nothing called "Metro". That was a codename over two years ago, and Microsoft doesn't use that terminology. The place where Windows Store apps/Start Screen resides is known as either the Modern Experience (MX) or Modern UI (Take your pick).
1) Not sure what you mean about configuring user accesses. I'm presuming you may work in I.T. Microsoft actually made software for enterprise level configuration to do exactly what you needed for that master image...you may want to check it out next time. I also have a full article (with links to downloads and other resources) here: http://www.alanpeto.com/tech/windows-8-it-pro/
2) Yes, you can get rid of the Start Screen. With Windows 8.1 (you may be using only the first release, for some reason) you can boot right to the desktop. There is no need to go to the Start Screen if you don't want to. I'm typing this from my desktop PC, and I never see the Start Screen or MX unless I want to. http://www.alanpeto.com/tech/windows-8-mouse-keyboard/
Further, they revealed at Build 2014 that a 'start menu' will be available as an update to Windows 8.1 later this year, and MX apps can run on the desktop.
3) Not sure what you mean by the network bar?? I've never had to use anything like that...please elaborate.
4) You're asking a broader question, and may not realize it. Windows 8(.x) reveals a transformation of Windows. The MX is for a growing touch based world, and the new direction. The older legacy desktop is for the "power user" (although you can actually do a lot of power stuff in the MX, but that's a topic for another day). Microsoft purposely seperated these two worlds because, as you know, the Windows 7 and below versions were a "pizza" that everyone had to eat. A consumer who didn't care about power user features HAD to use the desktop. Thus, that's why they don't like it (they may be "trained" and "conditioned" to "like" it, but that's why they all gravitate to Android and iOS right?). This is going to allow MS to make the "desktop" more tailored to power users. They've said this already. Part 1 was the MX, part 2 is the desktop. This way, everyone can have their own pizza.
So, that's a long answer to your two control panel questions. The older control panel still exists...for legacy users. They didn't want to take that away at this point due to I.T. / enterprise who still wanted it. Otherwise it would be gone. I rarely use the old control panel.
5) Nor should the desktop be optimized for touch usage...it's the legacy Windows 7 desktop. Surface devices, just like laptops, can use a touchpad or a mouse (or for the Pro series, the included pen). I always use a mouse with the legacy desktop on my Surface 2, but I'll be glad when the desktop is gone completely with Windows RT (the only thing I use it for is Office 2013 RT...that's really about it).
A longer answer is that any x86 style programs can easily be turned into MX style apps for use in the MX. They demo'ed this at Build 2014 showing a program made back in XP days that was easily compiled into a new MX program. It was pretty impressive and the dev's loved it.
6) IE 11 can be configured for whatever you need it to be (this is Microsoft, so everything is enterprise configurable of course). It's 115% on my Surface 2, so maybe something was "touched" to make it that high a % zoom. It's above 100% on purpose due to the small screen size...but you can make it whatever you want (easy enough to do).
I understand you are not trolling (but not sure if my video about connecting to an external monitor was the right place for this haha), but most of these issues are already addressed, you're talking about a small form factor device, and there is assistance and resources out there for I.T. pro's like yourself.
Hope that helps!