Bug#377032: i'm thinking
> For experienced users, yes. For newbies, definitely not (IMNSHO). For
> them, the only really variable part they understand is the hostname, the
> rest is goobleycook.
> Feel free to try to convince me otherwise.
imho there are only two classes of people who are likely to be using the manual entry option: those with enough knowlage of urls to understand a request for a mirror url with an example and those being told to do it explicitly by a local expert (e.g. thier network administrator) who should just be able to give them a url that they can type without understanding it just as they do for websites already.
for both of theese situations i'd think a single url would be less hassle than four seperate questions some of which are hidden in non-expert mode despite the need for them on some networks.
though maybe if going with the url option it would be nice to make it auto-prepend a default protocol (like web browsers do) and try adding /debian to the end if it fails to find a valid debian mirror at the url given (this would mean that someone could still enter just ftp.uk.debian.org and it would still work).