Well, I don't know if this topic attracts attention anymore, but I've recently tried sysprep many times under Win 7, 8.1 and 10. I would like to share my experiences.
1) Be careful about "WINDOWS FEATURES" and "SERVICES". I have installed an untouched system in virtualbox and tried to delete a few services. Sysprep then stopped working. I did not record them but they included the ones beginning with "DIAGNOSTIC" also "WINDOWS ERROR REPORTING", "WINDOWS SEARCH - INDEXING" and "SUPERFETCH" (with the commands "net stop" and later "sc delete", the "diagnostic" stuff gave access denied errors though).
2) Removing WINDOWS DEFENDER, MEDIA CENTER, WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER, TABLET PC, MOBILE PC works fine. I've done in all systems and these have generated "zero" problems.
3) The "REMOVER" tab is more tolerant. No problems with PRINTER & SCANNER DRIVERS, LANGUAGES, KEYBOARDS, MULTIMEDIA, THEMES and TWEAKS. In the ACCESSORIES tab however, try not to remove INDEXING CONTROL PANEL.
4) I have not fully tested the "NETWORK" features. But removing "HOMEGROUP" works fine.
5) One final note for winterstorm2050: The "PROTECT SYSPREP" preset falls insufficient. You should definitely add "INDEXING" (both service and control panel) and services beginning with "DIAGNOSTIC".