I keep things slight-light… My main machine is a Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 2.66GHz w/ 1024 MB of RAM, so no need to be light-weight.
Terminal: mrxvt (I love tabs)
File Manager: Nautilus/ROX/xfe, but mostly just ls/cp/rm/mv
Music Player: mpd or beep
Movie Player: mostly xine, but vlc for mkv fansubs (they are buggy in xine, I watch a ton of fansubbs anime…)
Web Browser: Firefox (again i love tabs) Opera
Image Viewer: feh/Nautilus (I really use nautilus for image browsing than real file management)
Image Editor: gimp
Instant Messageing: gaim (again, tabs = yay)
CD Burner: k3b (I wish there was a good gtk one)
Editor: gedit and nano about 50/50 (gedit = tabs & gtk)
I heavily favor gtk apps (for a unified window appearence, I currrently use the gtk Milk theme, I want to make a dark mod of it) and apps with tabs, I like to have many douments open but I hate a cluttered taskbar. If only openoffice started supporting tabs… Not that it really matters… I avoid rtf and use plantest as much as possible (I even type up papers in gedit and copy paste into OO for formatting, gedit has spell check and that’s all I need)
xterm - It comes with X. Are others really any better? I used mrxvt for a while for it’s tabs, but then I started using screen heavily and just kind of stopped using mrxvt.
bash - I used rox for a while, but just kinda stopped using it because it was faster to use the console. Though I do like nautilus with --no-desktop, I’m not installing all of gnome just for nautilus.
mpd to serve music (actually I’m using it with icecast2 too)
mpc for binding buttons to commands to control the music
glurp for building playlists
xine & mplayer for video
Firefox for browsing the net
elinks (supports tabs) for reading documentation or remotely browsing the net
gqview (replaced ee for me when it was dropped from portage)
gimp for editing
mcabber - I only used the jabber chat in gaim, switched to mcabber because I could have it running in a screen session which I could detach and reattach from different locations
xchat - when I use IRC, never liked gaim for IRC
mkisofs - to make images
growisofs - to burn dvds
cdrecord - to burn cds
I was using gcal as a calendar, but I stopped using its appointment and note features, so now I just use that cal script someone posted not too long ago. I’ve been using claws-mail at work, pine from on campus.
That’s about it for apps that aren’t games.
rxvt-unicode has a much smaller memory footprint, a better ttf support, a better unicode support, nice keysyms support, and many more features that xterm has not, besides being much heavier than urxvt.
So, I can’t see how xterm is a so good app, unless you need that old stuff for a concrete purpose. The only “nice” thing about xterm, is that it is almost everywhere where there is an X server.