I on the other hand think I would get bored without the monsters. It just adds that extra bit of a challenge. Not to mention goodies like bones, arrows, and dungeons.
As for the Nether, to me its pretty much useless after I've harvested a couple stacks of netherrack and glowdust. Plus its so damn dark I'm afraid to wander far for fear of taking a header off a cliff.
I never could figure out how to do a portal system (not that I do that much long distance travelling anyway).
Otoh, its not THAT hard to survive down there. Just bring lots of torches and cobble and get a wall up around the portal asap.
Minecraft vids? Coe is cool, but I'm also a big fan of Yogscast. They've turned the game into a giant adventure game.
And yeah, I'm with Robert. A screen full of checkboxes so you can customize the game to your hearts content would be great.