PS2 keyboard (simply doesn't work after grub. Bah!)
Installing the latest 2.6 series kernel (2.6.10) has fixed this problem. Now I'm sitting through a large kernel-headers download to rebuild the nvidia module...
boot speed (parallel startup or inetd-ize as much as poss)
Having said that my modules list was pretty big, I was actually fibbing. Or at least, /etc/modules is pretty small. However the list of loaded modules at run-time is gigantic and includes a whole bunch of firewire things (I have no firewire peripherals at the moment), vesafb (I use a traditional console and nvidia for X), etc. Maybe it's something to do with the initrd? I need to read up on that.
Regarding services: it appears the only non-essential daemon at present is apache, which afaik can't be used via inetd these days. I just update-rc.d -f apache remove'd it. Here's another action point: It would be sensible to setup the runlevels properly, so I could do a non-X boot, or experiment with an alternative initd.
graphics tablet (a medion one which is an aiptek clone)
This is working in X! In absolute mode, too. It looks like the input system thinks that aiptek should own it (correct), although it looks like it might be being grabbed by a generic mouse driver (incorrect). Still, it works great as it is - having the correct driver grabbing it would allow me to use the pressure sensitivity. I've never got even this far before, though.