After rebooting X worked, but the gdm login screen looked a little compressed. After commenting out the CDROM-archive line in the /etc/apt/sources.lists I installed everything else I wanted from net, including kdm which looked better then.
Later I installed the 64-bit kernel which runs with all the 32-bit applications installed without complaining - but be aware, that you can run into problems with some driver installations, as they see the 64-bit architekture and want to compile to 64 then too - which could probably not work. I experienced that with the ati graphics driver. Install the x86(32) Version before you install the 64bit kernel. The other way round it did not work for me.
Information on getting up wireless and standby is provided by Sergiy Kolesnikov. Find it here. Thank you Sergiy! Sergiy tested with Lenny, but I tried myself and at least wireless works on Etch too.
I tried Midi-Playing with timidity. But it did not work as rtc (real-time clock, managed by a kernel module) was loosing interrupts - you can see the error reported on tty1 when logged in as root. I solved the problem by blacklisting the module "rtc" and instead loading "genrtc" at boot time. Another solution I found in a forum related to Ubuntu: The high precision timer (HPET) may not be properly supported. After disabling this in motherboard bios, midi should work.
I did not yet try the modem, but the cardreader worked out of the box.
For energy-saving and fan-regulation I still make experiments... so this is to be continued.
Check back occassionally and feel free to contribute.
BTW I just found hints on installing Ubuntu; http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-671402.html
For historical completeness I keep some outdated Information on other methods to get wireless working:
Oct 2007, updated Aug 2015
Georg Sommer, Hamburg