I used to look after a load of pc's that would be deployed to short term sites with crappy wan links so I used to spend ages reimaging them and roaming profiles wasn't an option.
I never bothered with the microsoft method as I never found the time to look into it. What I used to do was:
Wipe the dell factory image and start again with a fresh os install. Then once all drivers loaded and pc fully updated, take an image with Acronis (acronis is like ghost but I had a bad experience with ghost 2003 so I went to acronis) then I would install our standard program suite.
I would then open regedit, select hkey users, then load hive and then load c:\users\default user\ntuser.dat which would open the registry settings used for creating fresh profiles. While in there I would set the relevant settings for stuff like wallpaper, show file extensions in explorer and a heap of other stuff. Then close the opened hive. Also I would copy desired shortcuts to the relevant folders for default user but this could be a pita if s/w ever was changed for a newer version as a new profile would still get the old/wrong icons. For s/w that may be changed, I found c:\programdata\desktop (or startmenu) was better but if one user deleted an icon, it would also vanish for other users.
For the outlook issue - install the group policy extensions for relevant version of office, run gpedit.msc and for outlook there is a setting that would let you specify to use the relevant ad account for outlook. Then while I was editing the registry of the default user, I would use the runonce section to run outlook so first time a user logged on, the pc would automatically run outlook and sort the account out without intervention.
Then I would take another image. This step was normally unneccessary but I will explain in a sec.
Then I would run c:\windows\system32\sysprep /oobe /generalise /shutdown, then take the final image. Reason I would image before this step is that once in a blue moon, sysprep would cock up and destroy all my hard work and it was nice to go back.
Then when you restore this image to another pc, it sorts out a load of stuff like creating a new sid which is essential in a domain envoironment, and asks you for pc name. Then I would manually join to the domain and update and pc was ready for use.
Also having the image with just windows on it was nice so around once a year when all our software packages were replaced with newer versions, rather than upgrade my images, I would just go back to a fresh windows install, do the windows updates then install the new programs.
N.B. I believe if you are using oem windows, it is against the eula to wipe windows and start fresh then image it. For some daft reason they only let you image the factory provided copy. If this is relevant to you, check the eula.
N.B. 2 - I'm sure I read somewhere that editing the default user profile was unsupported by ms. I always fixed my own problems rather than calling ms so wasn't bothered by that.
N.B. 3 - My old install procedure was pages and pages of notes so I've probably missed something out - although with a little trial and error I'm sure you will be able to customise this procedure to your needs.
N.B. 4 - As well as never having the time to look into the "proper"/ms method, this prevented me using all our lan bandwidth which was another reason I never bothered.
N.B. 5 - I couldn't put kaspersky on the image as it wouldn't work. When we used to use mccrappy, that was fine though.
N.B. 6 - Windows was pretty nice about pulling updates automatically when an image was restored, but some stuff like acrobat and java needed me to prod it to hurry up.
N.B. 7 - The instructions I've typed were for win 7, very slight differences for xp (directory names).