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1 is for single user mode, or "rescue" mode. mode good distributions use runlevel 3 as the standard non-X login runlevel, but afaik debian hads to be smug and different and use level 2. so you'd edit /etc/inittab and change the default from 5 to 2 and the next reboot you won't get X.
he's saying all the level's are the same, so that move would essentailly convert runlevel 2 into the equivalent of 5 - X. I'd not seen anythign before saying 2 to 5 inclusive were absolutely identical. I know various things about debian, but not that is was *that* erm... unique.