Every six months these articles become popular. I've been using Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) for a few months now and I thought I'd share what I thought.
For most users
Install Ubuntu 10.10
Install the little extras you might want, such as Thunderbird, Galeon, etc.
For cli users
apt-get install aptitude aptitude purge vim-tiny aptitude install vim
For psychotic users like me
Grab Alternate CD
Install "Command Line" system
Strip the crap out of it - bare essential packages only!
TOO MANY PACKAGES! Get them out.
No, you don't need that, prove to me you can't boot or network without it..
Get rid of vim-tiny; bring in vim and aptitude.
Tell aptitude not to bring in suggested/recommended packages.
Now just install the bare minimum system you need
Create a chroot; hop into it.
Install what you need for compiling things.
Grab the kernel source, trim down until there's almost nothing there.
Install that kernel to your system and remove all the other kernel stuff.
I like monolithic because now I have no need for copying modules.
I also trimmed it to the point where I don't need initramfs/initrd.
Looks good? Now trim it some more.
Tweak the crap out of openbox and anything else you need.
Just for the heck of it, I decided to post my .config. I usually get asked for it when I mention a stripped down kernel.