When it comes to drip rail, some people do just remove it. Others are careful and can cut out pieces and then replace them with sections cut from a donor roof. Sometimes you don't even have to mess with them.
If you want to remove your vinyl top just rip it off. Make sure you use a good epoxy primer on it before you paint so none of the adhesive residue thats trapped in the pores of the metal can screw up your new paint.