Root Stupid Questions!!! Please Look!!

So my evo is rooted but mainly for the free tethering capability. I tried bunch of roms but all seemed gimmicky or glitchy, best I found was Koni's Elite Series III. Anyway I'm back on stock rom, but I'm using ADW Launcher EX to change the homescreen on my phone. I actually love it and my phone seems super fast for some reason. I'm using juice defender and setCPU but i'm wondering if there is a custom kernel I can flash that will help improve speed/smoothness and battery life? I have the paid juice defender and honestly I don't notice huge gains.