As I said, community mods are vital imo. I hated the fact that every single critter leveled up with you ( wtf at rats becoming uber-strong after you level ); really pissed me off. So some mods were some serious gosends.
Natural Environment, Natural Wildlive, Oscuro's Obliovion Overhaul and the unoffical patch are my favorites. Add shivering Isles and you just lost a month of productivity.
Also, you do realise you can just NOT USE fast travel, right ?