lokhor: Tasker is pretty great but it requires a lot of geekery to get it to do what you want. it's also available for any Android device, many of which are a lot better than the SGS out of the box.
I think if you manage to upgrade to a newer 2.2.1 build using Kies then a stock rom might be bearable.
I imagine it would be a nightmare trying to update multiple phones with kies. Would be better off just doing it all with odin, only a couple mins per phone.