Okay, I didn't last long. After 24 hours of sticking with Linpus I eventually decided to install Ubuntu on the laptop, even though adjusting it for the Aspire One was going to involve some tweaking – sticking with Linpus would've ended up annoying me.
The AspireOne page on the Ubuntu wiki explains how to get you Ubuntu up and running. The Aspire One supports PXE booting, which I found far easier to setup than fiddling about with a USB stick just to get the install going.
The Ubuntu Netbook remix includes some great packages which are useful for running GNOME on a small screen, I did try them all however I wasn't too happy with the UME launcher. I'd highly recommend Maximus, an application which maximises open windows and removes the top bar from running programs, window-picker-applet which is ideal with Maximus and doesn't hog too much space for switching between programs, and human-netbook-theme for a few visual tweaks.
Overall I'm fairly happy, now I've got the power of Ubuntu for this laptop. Hopefully the weird quirks and bugs which the Aspire One has will be ironed out in future releases.