Some of the house rules I tend to run with:
Level up at the speed of plot. Makes for smoother game play I find.
If you qualify for Combat Expertise (i.e. - you have Int 13+), you gain the feat automatically; similarly for Power Attack (i.e. - you have Str 13+ ... forget about BAB +1), you gain the feat automatically. I don't see the reasoning behind needing a feat to basically fight defensively in an intelligent fashion (CE) or hit harder but leave an opening in your defenses (PA).
For raise dead, it does not need to a a single 5000gp diamond, just 5000gp worth of diamonds (or diamond dust). A single 5000gp rock should be exceedingly rare; if it isn't, then the value of diamonds should plummet, making the needed stone even bigger in size in order to fulfill a gp requirement.
As GM, I roll your Craft Item checks if you make a magic item. This has been a point of contention in some groups, but if you mess up the roll and get a cursed item, you should not have the meta knowledge that it is a cursed item.
You can resize magic armor and weapons down one size category with a successful Craft Magical Arms and Armor check. And no, you don't end up with extra mithral from reducing the size of the elven chain. Chalk it up to the crafting cost.