I have not yet asked in their forum. Although I have been rooting devices for a while, I have never really dug into the system before to try and figure things out for myself, I have mostly relied on tutorials and such. As I was somewhat out of my comfort zone on this one, I just assumed it was not related to the ROM, but that I was missing something.
If you could please elaborate on what you mean when you say that you think "the kernel is not completely patched yet" I would greatly appreciate it. I am just unfamiliar with the terminology or how this could cause my ROM to exhibit the current symptoms.
I did find a very comprehensive tutorial on creating your own ROM and may try this, based on the current ROM to change animations that way, but more as a learning experience to become more comfortable with the system. Link to instructions here:
[GUIDE] [how to] CREATE OWN ROM [FOR ANY ANDROID DEVICE] [FOR N00B] [EASIEST METHODS] - xda-developers