minimal debian you say?
If that's what you want you shouldn't install Gnome or KDE. Try fluxbox, wmaker, etc.
After installing the base system with the netinstall you do
then install a kernel that fits your cpu:
apt-cache search kernel-image
apt-get install kernelxxxx
and reboot, chose the new kernel.
install debfoster and run it, saying to keep all packages (unless you know what you are doing)
but say no to the old kernel. It'll then delete it.
If using debfoster it's usually a good idea to install it almost directly after install and say yes to all packages, so you won't end up deleting important packages later.
I install X with these packages:
apt-get install xlibs xutils xbase-clients xserver-xfree86 xfonts-base xfonts-75dpi
and if running higher resolutions than 800x600 also xfonts-100dpi (or when you see ugly font problems
Then install a window manager:
apt-get install fluxbox
And then install your lightweight apps, and configure X, .xinitrc, .Xdefaults, .bash-profile, etc.
For me the light apps would be:
apt-get install irssi dillo elinks nedit sudo aterm emelfm deborphan localepurge sysvconfig iptables firehol sylpheed-claws gftp linneighborhood xpdf xzgv xmms ted-gtk antiword xloadimage
irssi is an irc client, dillo is a browser, elinks a text browser, nedit an editor,
sudo is to give users ability to run some commands which would be only available to root,
aterm a terminal, emelfm file manager, deborphan removes unused libraries, localepurge removes unused languages, sysvconfig to configure services running, iptables and firehol firewall,
sylpheed-claws email, gftp ftp client, linneighborhood to browse network shares, xpdf pdf viewer,
xzgv image viewer, xmms multimedia player, ted-gtk rtf editor, antiword .doc convertor, xloadimage to be able to use fbsetbg.
Then I do debfoster.
And then install abiword and aspell.
and then sound: apt-get install alsa-base
At start it's quite a task to find your way between all the linux apps but you should remember always to try out the lightweight apps first
You might find this page interesting: http://users.skynet.be/six/gpure/tech/linux/debian.html
and the applications page. It should get you into the minimalist direction