Why Android skins are good.
As we know, Sense and Touchwiz get a lot of bad rep. I'm a HTC user and I always thought Touchwiz was a nasty ugly slow mess, but now that I have a Galaxy Camera I've seen it's not all that bad after all.. there are huge advantages to it above stock Android.
So here are some of my "skin-features" that are sorely missing on stock:
Sense Camera. The Sense camera is very good, in my opinion the best. There is literally no good alternative on Play that works as well and looks as clean. The Android stock camera is still a complete joke and CM's Focal is only marginally better.
TW-style Quicksettings. Yes, Android has quicksettings, but I need to do an annoying two-finger swipe (meaning I have to use two hands) or do an extra buttonpress. The Touchwiz (and AOKP and many others) implementation is much better and quicker.
Sense 4 lockscreen. The Sense 4 lockscreen feels very natural to use. Just swipe the ring anywhere to unlock or swipe an app into the ring to open it. No widgets though..
Power saver. This is a really simple feature but it can be a real life-saver (doh) when you really need to stay available and can't charge,
Sense Keyboard. Because it has bilingual prediction. If you're not from an English speaking nation it sucks to have only one language. Yes there's Swiftkey/Swype, but that's still "aftermarket" software and means stock Android does not cut it. Oh and it's also much better looking, but that's very subjective.
Sense widget-adder-thingy. This might need a link. Such a better approach than the widgetsdrawer in the launcher where 90% of the time it's just taking up space and every time you use it you spend 5 years scrolling..
These can be real dealbreakers and make me switch back to a Sense rom on my One X every time I try CM ror AOKP. I think The Verge should realise that and start bashing Google a bit more instead of Samsung and HTC. They are just trying to make up for the deficiencies of stock .. and sadly overshooting their goal by adding too much.
Maybe you do not agree with mine, but what are your must-have features in a skin or custom rom?