1Gb memory limit hardwired?
What, don't the Netbooks you've seen take some sort of SIMM/DIMM/whatever? Mine's a 1Gb model, but I can upgrade it to, I think, 4Gb by changing the memory. Not that I need to. Since I trimmed the rubbish installed in Firefox, it is a LOT more stable (no longer runs out of memory and dies) plus marginally faster at starting. So 1Gb does me.
Oh, I'm running Thunderbird, Firefox with six tabs, WinSCP connected, Metapad, PhotoImpact5, Apache/php local (EasyPHP), WinAMP to Kawaii-Radio.net and the usual bunch of services, antivirus etc. All in 1Gb with no swap. I have around 100Mb free memory, but then I could quit PhotoImpact, done with it. <clicky> There, done. Nearly 300Mb free now those images and dozens of undo buffers have been tossed.
If I can write, design, and test a bunch of PHP on Windows on a 1Gb netbook while taking pictues of it and checking my email, surely it is possible to run an office suite under Ubuntu in a gigabyte?