I recently stripped down my Surly LHT to the bare minimum.... removed both racks, fenders, and a few other assorted bits. I went back to commuting with a backpack and using my trailer(s) for shopping/hauling.
I have a Shimano R550 front wheel (18 spoke, radial pattern, aero rim, aero spokes) so I replaced my heavy 36-spoke front wheel. I replaced my heavy 700x38 tires with 700x28 Conti Gatorskins (plus Mr Tuffys).
The difference is nothing short of amazing! The feel of the bike has completely changed, she feels more like a sports car and less like a land yacht. She accelerates better, hits higher top and average speeds on my commute, and I haven't lost any utility at all since I use a shopping trailer for hauling stuff. If/when i want to use my panniers it's a 3 minute job to throw the rear rack back on.
I'm really enjoying my naked Surly.
[Edit] I have another bike with fenders for rainy days.