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Duplicating the convert button on the leads tab.

I am new to sales force and am trying to finish developing a new layout for my company. I need to make some changes to the leads tab (ie. make the company name not a required field as well as adding some other custom fields). It appears that I can not edit some of the built in fields on this tab, so I wanted create my own leads tab. In order to do this I would want to keep the functionality of the convert button minus the conversuion to an account, I would like to only convert to a contact and still have the option of adding a new oppertunity.
     When you convert lead by using built-in convert lead function,it converts the lead into the  account and contact, as well as (optionally) an Opportunity.
Please see the API documentation for this.
usama rasheed,