Looks like I have to make a separate page for this, since the detailed post I made on reddit did not show up (reddit's spam filter likely flagged it due to the large number of hyperlinks or something) -- anyway here's the info for my Windows 8 setup:
This is certainly not a one-click, 5 minute endeavor but I can report that once I set it up it runs flawlessly and only uses 6.5 megs of ram TOTAL :)
Theme: theme i'm working on (not completely finished). For a complete list of available Win8 visual styles, see this. Anyway, to get the window headers I use a tiny program called True Transparency and a slightly modified version of the Neo Sphere theme by nosphere. Both are included here. Deviantart has TONS of great themes for TT, check them out here. I have removed Windows 8's annoying 'ribbon' using WinAero's excellent 1-click Ribbon Disabler for Windows 8. Finally, I have decreased the window border size by using WinAero's Tiny Window Borders for Windows 8 utility.
Font: Kroeger 05_55 -- Windows 8 removes the "Display & Appearance" settings menu that's been present in basically all versions of Windows so to change different fonts and appearance settings you'll need to use PC Magazine's free utility DisplaySet.
System info: Coolmon 1.0 -- though it's trivial to get Rainmeter to show the same information.
System Clock: Cool app called 1st Clock that also provides alarms, event reminders, etc.
'1,2,3,4,5,6' icons represent my 6 favorite apps - that launcher is powered by RocketDock
Wallpaper: I took Photoshop to this excellent wallpaper posted in /r/wallpapers a few days ago: here
Icons: Memento Icons by neiio applied with IconPackager.
Start Menu: Classic Shell with a little custom start orb icon that I whipped up. CS is also used to boot-straight to desktop (skip start screen on boot) and disable Win8's annoying hot corners.
Not pictured: Launchy application launcher using LED theme by krissirk.