i completely agree that the stock stem on the lager is sh-it i liked the way it looked but it was pretty cheap. i didn't bend it (i doubt i can with my 5'4, 115lbs body) but the bolts stripped very easily this one time that my boy put on the cf fork. so a stem upgrade could be the way to go, if you want to go lighter, get a cf fork, you could get a new wheelset, i have dillos on veeps, uhm what else... it's up to your imagination i guess. the nitto sounds like a good idea, i recommend a whole new stem for new handlebars though.
about the stock chain/chainring, i've been thinking of upgrading those (except not really anymore since i just bought a new road bike) but they're fine for now, i think.