1. It can’t be just XBMC there needs to be a way to get to a desktop. I already have a very customized .xbmc directory that uses mysql on my NAS to store the library and I also need to configure my NFS mounts to the videos and music. I can’t do that if all I have is XBMC
2. It seems like a shame to not have a browser. I understand you are trying to make this light weight but sometimes you might want hulu, youtube, or a NAS administration page, or to access your sqeezebox server’s admin page. There are a ton of use-cases where a browser on a media center box is all but a requirement.
In short, slimmed-down and light weight is okay but there is a point where it starts to become counter-productive.
There is no desktop, the only X application that is run is XBMC. If you need to make changes (e.g. to replace .xbmc with your own version), you can access the system using telnet or FTP. For NFS mounts, have a look at /etc/nfs. There are XBMC addons for Hulu, Youtube and many other services, which are IMO more convenient to use than a browser. I’ve started looking into making an actual browser addon for XBMC using WebKitSDL, but it’s a significant effort, so no promises for now 🙂