This blogger tries to get Ubuntu, Debian and Xubuntu to run on his PIII 600mhz/128mb laptop. Xubuntu stays there.
Read it here
As the title above probably gives away I have settled on Xubuntu for my laptops OS.
I found this to be the best solution for everything. I still get the tools I`m used to such as synaptic and aptitude. I have Thunar as my file browser which gives me the look and feel of nautilus but without the huge memory and CPU demands. I have the gigantic collection of apps available in the Ubuntu repositories and the fantastic support from the forums and IRC channels.