I believe slackware will suite your needs quite well. As far as installation is concerned in a standard linux install you will not be givin an Xwin enviroment on startup automatically, which is just as well. Since your intention is not to use an Xwin enviroment it would be prudent to unselect the appropriate packages to save space (particually KDE).
I would suggest you start here http://shilo.is-a-geek.com/slack/
It's a good tutorial on how to install and configure slackware. You'll want to ski over some of the graphical configuration sections but other than that it should suite your needs
Let me know how it turns out