I am not an expert, but I know a little about struts.
I would recommend that you dont go lower than 9.5" however there are folks here that have gone with 9" and one crazy copper who is running 9" struts WITH a lowering kit.
They have had good luck with it, but others havent been so lucky. The 9" struts are very low, to the point where if youre not thinkiing about it, and take a turn to fast, you'll scrape frame and dump the bike (just ask Fegs).
I am running 10" struts on mine. I went with that size because of the billski taillight mod. Any lower and it wouldnt fit under the fender. I have about .25" clearance. I also didnt lower the front end at all, and it looks good and level to me.
As far as the raked trees go, I looked at them, but I dont think I am gonna do it. Ive read some stuff that shows how it can effect the trailing, and the dangers of the trailing being incorrect.
Hope this helps,....just my .02
Cruisin' for the kids