Now look - I have this oldish PC were I have all flavours of PCLinuxOS installed. However, after all was said and done, I liked Phoenix best. The only problem was - it wasn't as fast out of the blocks I would have liked.
So I checked my applications which would start and run slow for me and in the process slow down everything else. Those were Firefox, Opera and Thunderbird.
So I did some Internet research (big word for googling) and found some alternatives in the flyweight department. After some testing I settled on 2 applications which make a huge difference:
For internet browsing: Midori
It's fast, has some bells and whistles and whatever I might be missing in Opera or FF it makes up for in speed - lots of speed.
As an e-mail client: balsa
Might not be quite as polished or be user friendly as Thunderbird, but it is certainly not complicated, it has a polished GUI and downloads mail from multiple accounts.
Both applications are available through synaptic.
If you want to learn more about these two:MidoriBalsa