Re: efficiency of windows managers
I understand your frustration.
I have an old powerbook laptop (Speed: 500MHz, RAM: 512MB). Mac OS X, GNOME, and KDE hogged to much resources. So I started from scratch and installed a base install of Debian. I then installed just the necessary packages and I am using a very very lightweight window manager called DWM (http://www.suckless.org/wiki/dwm). I can't tell you enough how beautiful this window manager is. Very very small and efficient. In fact, I am a much more productive user because of this window manager. It just makes like so much easier (for me at least). There are no dependencies except basic X11 dev headers. It only installs one binary file. It takes getting used to and maybe a few tweaks to get it right but it is definitely worth it.
Try it out. If you have any questions regarding DWM, please post back.
Amit Uttamchandani <email@example.com>