This is a really nice idea. Never thought about decreasing chat fade time but it's a brilliant way to make the most annoying part of my UI, well, less annoying.
I suppose you could take a look at MyMainBar although it still shows the menu and bag icon which we don't need it to. And for the unitframes, making them moveable, enlarging them and showing text (decifit!) - can't wait to see what you come up with.