|I use tasksel, but not for installations. For each interresting task, I check the info page to see which packages are included. Then, I search for each of the packages on packages.debian.org. Using this approach, I can determine if a package is really needed and I can find alternative packages and/or recommended add-ons to a base package. Finally, I apt-get install all the packages I need.
For newbies, I think tasksel is a pretty good solution, at least better than dselect!
If you want to look at an excellent package selector, you should try Slackware. It even lets you select which base packages you want. However, last time I tested it (7.something), it didn’t care about dependencies and I guess it still don’t. It was not as stable as Woody either, so I’ll probably stick to Debian for the rest of my Linux life.
Woody rocks dripping as we say in Sweden 🙂