I just want to take this opportunity to publicly thank leandromartinez98 who's post saved me a great deal of hell.
Context, my machine died yesterday. And I had to buy a new one in a hurry. I thought I'd go for a cheap netbook (not knowing what I really wanted, nor wanting to put a lot of money into it.)
Because I was basically next to the City of London, I went looking there, and found no Linux netbooks of any kind. Shop staff were surprised that I asked for it and gave me the usual story about how there used to be a lot of Linux netbooks but people kept bringing them back.
So, anyway, I went for an Asus 1005 (280 quid, 1 gig of RAM, 160 gigs HD, Atom processor) and a pendrive (to boot linux from). Got back to the office, everything worked fine with Windows XP. First impression of the machine itself, 10.2 inch screen and keyboard seem acceptable to work with.
I had some hassle making a bootable pendrive with Ubuntu Jaunty netbook remix and UNetbootin. Short version : Don't use UNetbootin; the installer it made didn't work for me. Fortunatelyu diskimager did the job.
So then I had Ubuntu on my machine ... but no wifi, and no wired networking of any kind. Of all the netbooks I could buy, I'd ended up with the one that Jaunty's drivers don't work with!
Anyway, that's where leandro martinez's post turned out a life-saver.