This folder becomes less important now however personally I'd like to keep it since I only have to check out one project. Is this OK?
It's not absolutely necessary. Usually I work across all these projects and my commits span across them. It's just a convenience now for checkouts. Before the new CI server and the snapshot repo you were kind enough to setup for us, this was to prevent breakage.
I can see 'trunk-with-dependencies' trees in the svn (containing svn:externals). Was this just a workaround to solve the
missing snapshots jar of other projects (shared, ...) or does it has a more important reason?
If not wa can think about skipping them when switching back fromt bigbang to trunk.