Maybe my discussion will make me look obnoxious and gullible to challenge Debian's tradition but I really hope this discussion will lead to a positive output, rather than to be bashed. Like many new comers, what confused me at first is which cd image to download; 1, 2 or all of them. Yes, it is very clearly indicated in the documentation that only CD 1 is all I need and all the packages are sorted by popularity. But, don't you think this approach is just too arbitrary? How do I know the packages that I am interested in which CD? Yes, there is a long list showing which package where. But, don't you think that is very arbitrary, again? One package may be very popular among a group of you but may not for others. System admin uses tools different than network admin. Normal users may never touch tools that are popular among application developers.
I suggest that packages are group by function rather than popularity:
CD 1 - Base/Core system which is to be used for installation/repair/rescue
CD 2 - Desktop (X11, GTK, QT, GNOME, KDE, OpenOffice and other GUI applications)
CD 3 - System Administration
CD 4 - Network Administration
Instead of saying, "...in most cases it is not necessary to download all of the images for your architecture. The packages on the CDs are sorted by popularity: CD 1 contains the installation system and the _most_popular_ packages. CD 2 contains slightly _less_popular_ ones, CD 3 _even_less_popular_ ones, etc. You will PROBABLY not need CD 3 and higher unless you have very special requirements."
CD 1 is all you need to install a functional Debian Linux
CD 1 + CD 2 if you are a desktop user
CD 1 + CD 4 if you are a network admin
CD 1 + CD 3 if you are a system admin
CD 1 + CD 2 + CD 4 if you are a network admin + desktop user
What do you think?