Yes, I would second the use of the past tense in describing projects. It forces you to define the successful outcome of the project. I used to have projects such as "Develop course syllabus." Now I write "Course syllabus ready to hand out to students." With the past tense, I know exactly when the project is done.
A few more thoughts about project lists:
As I see it, project lists serve a few different functions. In evaluating whether the lists are necessary, it might be helpful to consider whether these functions are important to your own work flow.
1) Project lists make sure nothing falls through the cracks. If you religiously think of next actions upon completion of a prior action, then you may not need a project list. Otherwise, project lists are invaluable for moving work forward. (I find it helpful to use a system that enables you to sort your actions either by project or by context.)
2) A project list enables you to see and review all of your immediate goals and deadlines at once. If I want to know what my next couple of weeks will be like, if I want to get a handle on my coming work load, then I need to look at my project lists. The action lists are great for getting things done, but they aren't so great for seeing upcoming deadlines and commitments.
3) A project list is the crucial link between the "runway" and the higher levels of GTD. During weekly review, you can assess your project list to see if you are moving forward towards your longer term goals. A project list thus allows both a bottom-up and a top-down approach to work. Projects emerge from incoming stuff each day; but new projects are also generated when you consider your goals and values.