I have a small distro based on zipslack and I use windowmaker. Try ROX-Filer for a file manager and you'll never look back, very fast and light. nedit makes a great text editor, and then add opera 6.12 or 7.22 for your browser.
In windowmaker when you run some applications they will put a a square on the screen. When you drag it over to where the others are it will stick there. Some applications actually run from there such as net monitors, clocks.
I love the windowmaker look and feel, and of the lightweight windowmanagers it's the easiest to configure.
For lots of 'dockable' apps go to Ben Sinclairs DOCKAPP warehouse. Most APPS written for afterstep will also run in windowmaker.
Fluxbox is lighter than windowmaker and has less dependencies, but must be mostly manually configured.
Windowmaker/GNUstep- the most UN-windows like GUI you'll find.