Even i have to admit, that the deactivation of all effects was much easier in older version... there you had only to deselect options to deactivate them, so it was easier to explain .
You don't need to disable all the extra map stuff. If the game doesn't provide glowmaps, for example, glowmaps aren't used. Thus, disabling the MediaVPs and playing with retail data only is the best way to recreate the Retail look (although, as m!m noted, you can't ever fully recreate the look).
Also, novachen: The old way of doing this, where every special feature had to be enabled manually, was terrible. Explaining to people that, in order to get the best graphics, they had to download and activate this mod, then add these half dozen flags is bad
design. Now, all you need to do is download the exe, install the launcher, install the MVPs and start the game.