As many have written, I choose the freedom of Debian, from a net-install media, I was able to "built" my OS almost from scratch avoiding to spend a lot of days compiling. Nowadays I need to run a really heavy framework for my work and a fu..ing win emulated for a specified apps, this eat a lot of resources from my lovely old thinkpad so switching from compiz to just Gnome wasn't enough, I tried with lxde and xfce but any of them was what I expected, so I found this little desktop called JWM looking for something new avoiding the well know BlackBox and I wonder how useful it can be.
As experienced user I know what applications I want to use (like Pidgin, Gimp, VLC, Pcmanfm...) so I took half an hour editing .jwm, customizing it, adding applications to menu, making the panel useful (like adding wicd, gnome bluetooth and power manager...). After that, it was an only way path, I'm really happy with my single desktop, I have everything that I need for a day by day and when there is something that I want to try, I always have my gnome-terminal to run it.
I strong recommend this alternative, specially for that ones with limited hardware resources.