I have just done a debian netinstall over the week and I was surprised at how straight-forward it is. Anybody could literally pick up the netinstall cd and install it without any prior experience and still get a functional system. Say goodbye to downloading distros and hello to netinstalls. No more bloat and built exactly the way I like it.
The only parts that I think a newbie should consult first are wireless drivers, apt commands, bash commands, and how to setup a window manager. Other than that, it is pretty much smooth sailing.