Symptoms: would get part way through the 'installing packages' step, then system would go blank screen and seem to be locked up.
Tried many times.
Solution that worked for me:
Changed the default partitioning (suggested by the installer) from 3.3Gb swap and rest to '/', to make the '/' partition about 1/2Gb smaller than the default the installer was going to use, leaving a little free space on the harddrive.
Wrote the changed partition sizes to disk, then did the rest of the install in the normal (default) way.
Writing this post from the newly Debian laptop itself :)
To get wireless to work:
1. update /etc/apt/sources.list to include 'contrib':
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ squeeze main contrib
2. sudo aptitude install wireless-tools
3. sudo aptitude install firmware-b43-installer
Then I was able to add my WEP key to the network icon/applet in the upper right corner, and be connected to my home wireless network.