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The short answer is, "the ones that you don't need".
Have a look at the messages that appear when you boot up. You don't have to reboot to see these, use the command "dmesg". Read up on the ones you don't understand, and if there are things there that you don't need you can remove them from your kernel and/or disable them in your init files.
Sure, it's possible that you could screw up your system temporarily, but if you read up on what you're doing, make backups of your config files (anything in /etc) and only remove one service at a time, you're unlikely to have serious problems.
Distribution: RH 6.2, Gen2, Knoppix,arch, bodhi, studio, suse, mint
there are a bunch of places in the bootscripts that use delays, cause the commands need them on some computers. usually they use "sleep". like sleep 2s, for wait 2 seconds. if you comment all of those out, or lower them, you can cut a bunch off your boot time.
go in your init.d directory, or appropriate for your distribution, and run
grep sleep *|less
you can find em easy that way. chances are you can get away without them. just remember what you did incase something quits working right.
crap like this.