Windows 8 and 8.1 consumer versions need and use and Microsoft Accounts. A lot of the incremental value of the modern UX and even some of the operating system fundamentals (ex: device encryption by default) is wrapped up in having an account. If you choose to go a different way, as did this Washington Post reporter, please understand that you have gone a different way and your opinion of the tiles, modern UX and the like is going to be relative to a custom mode you’ve arbitrarily set up. Like shutting off the file indexer for “performance”; the OS will limp along best it can, but it’s not our intended experience. There are plenty of places in the OS to criticize (including making you use a Microsoft account) about what we did intend without making us own an experience you created by following 3rd party instructions on the web.
Also, I’ll note that cloud integration is a big part of where computing is going. If you are running a mainstream computing experience, there will be a cloud ID attached to soon it if there isn’t already. There may someday be a mass market for a consumer experience without such, but I haven’t seen it.