About a month ago while I was looking for my Linux distro, I got recommended a newer Linux distro called elementary. It's not what I was looking for in a desktop system, but it did impress the hell out of me.
I wouldn't call elementary a lite distro; the live ISO is 600MB. But it is very simple and very polished. The best part about it is the few hand-picked applications it has. It's got a browser, a e-mail client, a contact manager, an IM, a dictionary, a photo manager, and even a few office apps. Other than a few extras like Brasero for disc burning and some GNOME apps, that's really about it. The thing that is good about these apps is that they are all very lite. Midori is my favorite lite browser, and instead of OpenOffice.org, they've chosen Abiword and Gnumeric. They could've gone with a lighter IM client, like AYTTM, instead of Empathy but I doubt the difference would be noticeable.
On top of all that, you've got the Ubuntu Software Center, since elementary is based off Ubuntu. But honestly, the default applications seem to mesh so well, I can't imagine using the Software Center for much.
I haven't had the chance to try out elementary outside of a VM, but I definitely know where I want to: netbooks. This seems like an absolutely awesome netbook distro. I'm kind of confused as to why the ISO is so large; 600MB seems bloated for what's installed, but I haven't even installed it in a VM yet so maybe the install size is still less than 1Gb. In any case, as much as I still love Peppermint, if my EEE netbook were in working order, I would install elementary in a heartbeat.
Not much else to say. I do recommend that you check out elementary's website which has several screenshots and samples of a few of the apps.