I didn't know whether removing the discolored, faded, and cracking window trim was a good idea or not. I did know that it looked like shit, though, and I really wanted that cleaner, newer, "blacked-out" look. So, after reading several articles and sifting through the Samba thread, I said, "screw it" and decided to take remove the window trim.
The process is pretty easy. You start by popping out the center trim piece cover. I used a small flat head screw driver.
Then you pull outward on the trim piece while trying not to bend it too much so it doesn't break.
Some are bound to break, though, and getting it started again can be a pain. I found the best way to do so is to use two small flat head screw drivers to simultaneously apply outward pressure until you can grasp the trim with your hand.
The hardest parts where at the corners. In the end, you end up with a big pile of nasty.
When all is said and done, it really does improve the look of the van. The biggest debate was whether removing the trim would render the seals useless and cause loose windows or even water to enter the van! After having done this, I've honestly experienced a little of both side of the argument - the van looks waaay better, but I've noticed the passenger side slider window feels a little loose. The others are okay though. I plan on eventually re-painting the van and installing new seals anyway, so I decided to risk it.
Another thing to note is what climate you live in. If you're in a dry area, then you shouldn't run to great of a risk removing the seals. In a really wet climate (like Seattle, doh!) you run a greater risk of water penetrating if you have a seal that winds up being really loose. So, educate yourself, think about your particular situation, and go with your gut! ;)
Now I just need to either paint the middle slider windows or get some black-framed ones from a late-model Vanagon!