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separate plugins might improve security but if they aren't careful, all those heavy-weight process will tie up resources. Ive never looked at the code but this was my first impression of chrome last year, though that impression has changed over time. Heres to hoping the firefox team learns from chrome
After ditching the stock xandros that came on my eeepc 700 2G, i tried ubuntu-eee netbook remix (now easy peasy) but performance was not great. I tried eeebuntu-base which was a lot better and includes one-click scripts for you to run at anytime to get the configuration and performance just right for your model. but for what i use my little laptop for (local or remote development) i realized that a command-line was really all i needed so now have arch linux installed with toofishes' custom kernel for the eee and no GUI (for now). It boots fast, only has what i need and pretty easy to update with pacman (rolling distro). Its pretty awesome.
The Arch Linux wiki entry for installing on an eee has some great general purpose advice
unless of course your requirements call for it. But your systems will run very slow if every time they have to boot they have to go thru the decrypt process. you should only need to encrypt your users' data. Hopefully, system data and user data are, at least, in different folders of the filesystem.