Glad someone cares.
As a note, doing an install USB and using the plop boot manager appeared to work after I tweaked isolinux.cfg to automatically choose 'install debian' (keyboard didn't work properly on that menu), it installed fine, right up until it was time to install GRUB. So don't try it :(>>46756569
Yeah, eMachines are another craptastic product that I despise. But if it was free, congratulations :)>>46756646
I rebooted after removing my CD, and it appeared to freeze shortly after boot. IT DID NOT FREEZE, however. For some stupid reason, the default GRUB installation has the 'quiet' parameter passed to the kernel so it stops printing text relatively early into boot. Leave it, maybe for up to 5 minutes or so... I took a bath, but I'm guessing it only took 5 minutes or so, tops.
Anyway, I come back, and it's not got a GUI running. I realize that that's because I had no network connection when I did the installation - so I took my old Debian DVD that had failed to boot past that "Select CD-ROM boot type" screen. I popped it in, and logged into the TTY.
I typed "su" and entered my root password (not my user password, my root password. Setup had prompted me for it).
I then typed the following, after inserting the DVD (since the DVD has more packages than the CD. This may well be unnecessary if you use the DVD I made above):
apt-get install sudo
I added my user to the sudoers list, like this, where my username is 'anon':
anon ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
May have also had to install nano, but I think it already was.
Anyway, that's just for getting it the way I like using debian. You don't really have to do anything other than the 'apt-cdrom add / apt-get update' part.
I then did this (as root, which I got to by doing 'sudo su') to get the UI I wanted installed:
apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
apt-get install lightdm
service lightdm start