Ok, I installed Debian 'Sarge' on my Tualatin 1.4.
So far, I like it. A lot. This and Slack are my 2 favorite distros so far.
Sarge = the next release version of debian
Sid = unstable, always, and forever
The only complaints I have thus far is that it automatically boots into the X environment. At first, I didn't have the mouse plugged in because this system doesn't seem to like the mouse on the PS/2 port.
Anyways, it's kind of a pain to get around without a mouse. Oddly enough, the mouse was behaving on the PS/2 port w/ Debian. It refused to work in Slack AND Windows. Hmm..
I think this depends on what packages you install. If you install X and a display manager (GDM, KDM, etc) on install, it's going to start it up by default.
Another thing was that it doesn't appear to install Links(2) or at the very least Lynx. Yeah, it's a crappy little text web browser, but it's handy at times.
I haven't used the new installer so I'm not sure how you "choose" what you install, but there may be a way. Otherwise, I imagine it's on the CD, just not installed with whatever you chose to install. Unless you did a net install, or if you have internet access, then I'd just apt-get install it
I guess debian is pretty minimal by default, and it tries to do what you tell it to as far as installing packages goes.
And last, is I seem to have to boot into X, login, then logout in order to get to the bare CLI (not just a terminal window in X)
Well, either you can remove the display manager and that will stop it, or you can remove the display manager from your default runlevel.