To whet your whistle, quake3 compiles in 66 minutes, runs at 24.1 fps 1080p. Who the hell plays these silly games?
XBMC got thru bootstrap, then configure, now compiling. All compiled on the pi. Will report back on that.
LXDE is very usable, maybe 8 seconds to load, Midori about 10 to google page.
There is a busybox kernel so you can rescue drives. I redid my own real easy, might be possible to get a mini arch so you could pacman with a -r. I got one problem with both, not able to resolve dns.
Plus it's had a couple of segfaults of late, always when downloading packages. Running off sd card is quite stuttery, gone back to hard disk. And ar9170 wireless card seems to have problem loading firmware. Alsa works now.