In our organization 'New!' icon is creating some confusion. Is it possible to remove the icon for some specific libraries only?
If i'm not mistaken is per Site Collection only that you configure (or disable) the New Icon (set it to 0 to remove it completely).
On the other hand you could easily replace its functionality in the web parts where you really need it with simple XSLT tricks.
To simply hide the actual icon in selected web parts use CSS