...or a CrunchBang. Yep. I've made the plunge and replaced the outdated and bloated Windows XP on my ancient laptop, a 2003 IBM ThinkPad X31, with CrunchBang 10 Statler, a Linux operating system based on Debian, a very stable and robust OS. So far so good, everything is snappy and streamlined. I timed the boot times from a cold start:
Windows XP: 1min 33 sec
CrunchBang 10 Statler: 32 sec
The choice was clear for me. After downloading the iso and making a LiveCD, all I had to do was run the installer, and there it was. Windows XP gone.
Of course, the only reason I felt comfortable taking this risk was the fact that I have another old laptop, from about 2005 or so, with XP still on it, so if anything went wrong, I would have a failsafe, and still have a laptop to take to college. But as you can see, neither of them stand out as "great paragons of laptop powerhouse performance." :)
Below are a couple of screenshots from my computer.