rebuilt ubuntu and tested it out. Just as a test I kept gnome and removed openoffice and evolution. I added mplayer and some sdl libs and had a final .iso size of about 570mb. I've listed a few more things to remove as they are not needed.
I've started a forum for the project over at nanonymous.org for anyone that is interested in putting in there 2 cents or helping out with the development. I'll need some help with package removal scripts and additional packages users may want. Customized splash screen would be nice too so if there are any artists out there...