I have used some of these, and they are good alternatives. Both iTunes and Adobe install launchers which load at startup, and both do so without asking. And iTunes loads the iPod helper as well, a 5MB app which runs all the time whenever I launch iTunes (it doesn't unload)..and I don't have an iPod.
These two are just some of the offenders. I wish all of the software makers would get their crap out of my system tray and starup menu. Unless I absolutely have to have it, I don't want it.
I totally agree with Molly on the fact that too many applications these days are bundling TOO many applications with their products. I hate having to get iTunes TO GET QuickTime. I hate how Macromedia and Adobe have bundled the Yahoo toolbar into their products, THANKFULLY you have the option to not install them.
I wanted to share a couple of alternative products. The first being a replacement for QuickTime & iTunes.
Use Juice for podcast subscriptions (you can subscribe to iTunes feeds with it too) & then go to free-codecs.com and download "The Codecs" package. That will allow you to play M4V files with Media Player Classic. Also, the Real & QuickTime Alternatives are great.
As far as Adobe Reader goes, you can get rid of it. I use a program called Foxit PDF Reader. Its free and MUCH, MUCH more light-weight AND the best part is, it doesn't even need a helper application to help start it. Adobe has to run a background service to help launch the program faster. (Talk about bloated)