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Not all third party software is bad - just most of it, overwhelmingly most of it. Some apps are indispensable and very well written. Here are a few - mostly what developers and admins need, although anyone's desktop would be much snappier with them.
Cocoa API documentation browser
Version 0.889 or earlier please, but this one is something a developer simply cannot do without. Yes there are shortcomings: it would be nice if AppKiDo could parse all OS X header files, not just the Cocoa ones - Core Foundation and other frameworks are stuff developers will still use from time to time. But when you have to find APIs in a hurry, or you're on a general spelunking expedition and don't know what you're looking for, there is nothing like this app. Apple's own will cripple you by way of comparison. AppKiDo gets you off the ground.
Command line interface for OS X
No need for megabloat downloads and silly paraplegic doodads - this is all baked in with command lines that are proven to work so all you have to do is watch that Save button and click Run.
Voted the #1 power tool for OS X by iCreate Magazine.
An overwhelming app. Open source since Jim Bumgardner gave the code away and maintained today at SourceForge. There are a few Cocoa hex editors out there, but they're very very bad. This editor is a 'FAT Carbon' but the code is very very good. And you can whittle away at the executable if all you want is to run it under OS X, and if you rebuild the app for that you'll get it down under 80 KB with no resource forks remaining. All that's diffy is getting the application icon out and recognised by the loader - building the app itself is a breeze.
Installer package reader
You might need this app twice a year at most, but when you do you'll be glad you have it. Pacifist is a wrapper around the command line tool 'pax' and thus can get into your install packages and pluck out just what you want. Accidentally destroyed a NIB from one of your Apple OS X apps? No problem. Pacifist gives pax a GUI, and it's very welcome.
File browser for OS X
Not everyone uses a program like this, but on any Unix or Linux platform in the world except OS X this type of file browsing is always available. Contemplating using OS X without Xfile simply doesn't equate.
It's only 40668 bytes on disk and there's never a need to use anything else - ever.