1b) single player is an illusion in all quake engines. I guess I can add a hack for that.
2) gamedir "quoth;warpspasm"
works with any such dependant mods and doesn't depend on hacks.
frankly special cases like random hyphens and special mods is the kind of oddness that irks me. and yes, I know that its one of your additions.
I'll tweak it sometime to work without the quotes+space instead of the embedded semi-colon, but the weird hyphen and reversed order thing is a hack that I don't personally agree with.
alternatively you can use the quake injector plugin thing and then you don't have to know that warpspasm depends on quoth and other awkward stuff.
3) randomized huds are not something I can approve of. cl_sbar 1 is for you (and even exists in vanilla qw). note that this is also enabled by the vanilla preset.
if you refer to afterquake's ezhud plugin thing then yes, I agree with you, its hideous. plug_sbar 0 disables that completely - note that afterquake's config.cfg file contains this setting (if you've previously selected a hud, you can just pick 'default' in the huds menu to switch that plugin back off). of course, because your remarks about the menu etc imply that you're not even using the package that this thread is actually named after, then none of this really applies.
4) bind alt+enter "toggle vid_fullscreen;vid_width 0;vid_height 0;vid_restart"
(doesn't work while at the console/menus, unfortunately, but hey, the console is overrated and you claimed that the menus are unusable. bind one of the f-keys instead or something)
most qw players would hate that, of course, so no way I'll do it by default. note that it would also affect splitscreen if both keys needed to be bound (hurrah for different keys controlling different players).
(also, you know you can just use the mouse for the menus, right? right-click to close the current menu.)
5) did you try afterquake's menus, or were you just sticking with the engine's ones? (player lerping certainly isn't on the afterquake menus).
for me, turning bloom off is one of the first things I do in new games... frikkin blur filters... I'm sorry that fteQW caters a little more to QuakeWorld players... :P
menusys is qc and opensource, you can find it here: http://triptohell.info/moodles/csaddon/menusys_src.zip
feel free to propose specific changes for your single-player focus.
quite frankly, your definition of 'zero config' just means that *you* are happy with the existing defaults, which is of course much easier when quakespasm doesn't really have anything to configure beyond vanilla (and even then lacks modem configuration etc). it also has most map packs actually being tested with it/designed exclusively for it being in its favour...
just give some actionable proposals rather than sweeping complaints that will be taken as just an aspergery dislike of changes (I'm not judging, I'm more guilty of this than most people, but maybe also more aware/paranoid of it too. cry wolf and all that).
6) yeah, fte's console is more cpu-heavy than I'd like. if your laptop is dying then you should probably enable vsync or something. its a shame that its probably out of its warrenty now. you could also try cleaning the fans/vents, my own laptop got kinda 'fluffy'. either way, maxing out a single core shouldn't cause the machine to shut down.
7) I'm going to assume you mean those tab-completion alternatives (by the way, you can just click them instead of spamming tab/etc followed by ctrl+space).
The 'bronzed' colour technically comes from using different glyphs. You can actually enter those glyphs by pressing alt while you type (another reason to avoid alt+enter). entering green text is still rarer and thus more preferable. the completion listings also being green is down to consistency, and is also more distinct following player chat and things like that.
if you mean player names using a rainbow of colours, try cl_standardchat 1.