First Debian install = unsuccessful

My hope is to get this installed fairly quickly, and have instructions for anyone else that may have this model, and may want to do a similar installation. I'm surprised by the lack of a site that documents which base systems people were able to install various flavours of Linux on. After all, not everyone who installs Linux does so on a custom-built machine ... right?

Guess I'll spend some time Sunday night doing a new installation, after clearing my hard drive of the initial shot. I don't really want to buy a new(er) machine just to install a flavour of Linux, but I guess I may have to ... There's always a couple other flavours of non-Windows OS that I have laying about - and I have a fast enough connection and enough blank CDs to burn a number more.