I actually wanted to install OpenSUSE 10.2 on my barebone (which is now no longer acting as a server but a mere “always-on” client). As the OpenSUSE 10.2 DVD didn’t boot I quickly decided to give the newly released Debian 4.0 “etch” a try instead. Coincidentally, that was probably the right decision as the installation (using the new graphical installer) went smoothly and the box runs as solid as expected. I particularly like the fact that the installer gave me a) the choice whether to use lvm and b) even the choice between using a plain or an encrypted lvm volume. I went for the encrypted volume which adds another layer of security at the price of a somewhat lower performance (felt performance, not measured performance).
Congrats and thanks to all the tireless Debian developers and maintainers for this nice release!
 There were only two avoidable incidents: 1) Creating filesystems on the 60 GB drive took quite a while (i.e. one night), probably due to slow formatting instead of quick formatting (or due to a physical integrity check of the whole device). The installer should probably ask the user whether (s)he really wants to spend that much time for something that isn’t required in general. 2) It took me a while to find out that the ethernet cable wasn’t plugged to eth0 but rather eth1, resulting in a dead connection. Unfortunately, the NICs of the Lex barebone are labelled wrongly. In order to connect the cable to eth0 you need to connect it to NIC 2 (instead of to NIC 1). That of course isn’t debian’s fault however, nonetheless the error message could be a bit more specific than basically just “… mirror is not available …”. I thus tried different mirrors, different ifconfig and route settings, different NIC drivers (the 8139too is the correct one) before arriving at the conclusion that the problem had to do with the physical connection.