You are right about all the unnecessary crap being installed! My laptop had all kind of junk installed on it. Unfortunately, your recovery partition also reinstalls all of that junk you do not want. You should make a set of recovery disks before formating your drive. Follow the instructions on your pc to make these disks before doing anything to it. This way if anything goes wrong you can use those disks to recover your pc. Yes, you'll also be reinstalling all of that junk you do not want, but that's the way it is.
Once you have these recovery disks created and you know that they will work, you may format the entire drive including that recovery partition to gain some space. Be sure those recovery disks work before the recovery partition is formated!
If you have a bought copy of Windows 7 or can borrow a copy from someone, use it to reinstall windows 7 on your laptop. When it asks for the product key, use the one for your laptop. DO NOT USE THE KEY ON THE DISK YOU BORROWED! THAT'S PIRACY!
Use your Windows 7 key found on the laptop. If you do not know what your key is, use this program to find it. http://www.magicaljellybean.com/softwar ... fice-2010/
Hopefully others will offer help, too. Good luck to you! I know exactly how you feel.