I'd recommend trying Arch Linux.
Download their base install iso which is about 150MB.
It will install all the bare essentials.
Once you're logged in, you can then download and install whatever packages, and their dependancies, you want.
e.g. When I did my installation I wanted all the applications most people would want:
Firefox, Opera, X, fluxbox, Open Office, aMSN, vim, screen, XMMS, Mplayer.
pacman -S firefox opera fluxbox openoffice amsn vim screen xmms mplayer
and then pacman, Arch Linux's package manager, downloads the packages from a server online and install them for you... very easy to do.
NOTE: The packages might not be called what I said they was called just, e.g. openoffice might be called openoffice-base.
To find out their real names just run:
pacman -Ss openoffice
This will search for all packages with the term openoffice in either their name or description.. this is also easy :P