Well put. I feel it is better to start with a small distro and add to it rather that a large distro and remove from it. Customizing or remastering is what Linux is all about! Have a good day all!
I have and use sidux as my full fledged cutting edge desktop system. I use a built up antiX on my hard drive as my alternate. Where I REALLY like antiX, though, is that it is just about the right size - big enough that it has everything I have needed to function as a Live CD and fast recovery CD and it also works well in a mobile environment.
If it were much bigger, then PCLinuxOS or SimplyMEPIS make great tools and they have more conveniences, but the cost is that their size is too big for nimble live usage and also their footprint makes for slow startup (especially live) on older boxes. Therefore, AntiX carves a beautiful niche. DSL is a bit too small to have all the stuff I want, though it makes a great small, fast live CD. Puppy is a bit better in some regards, offering more stuff, but AntiX is just big enough to really get the job done, and extensible, without being too large on the CD.
Therefore, my recommendation is to keep AntiX in the same 300-400 MB size range if at all possible, and encourage a community, much like PCLinuxOS did, of respins and variations to suit various different purposes.
What we have today in the base is excellent, and I think that the 7.5 efforts are right on track to keep the core size down but the flexibility options up for those who want to tinker once installed.
By the way, for people who want a system with more capabilities, look at sidux. For me, having both antiX and sidux available to me has enabled me to do everything I have been able to think of and come up with for my purposes. Both are Debian based, both are extremely flexible. sidux is bigger, so its not as nimble in Live mode, but it is fast on the hard drive and has great management tools - a couple of which we've adopted here - ceni and smxi in particular. Yup, antiX and sidux - what a great 1-2 combination. Add in SimplyMEPIS and you get small, fast, and flexible (antiX), fast, flexible, and cutting edge (sidux), and simple and stable (SimplyMEPIS). All three have excellent system administration tools, though SimplyMEPIS is the least standard of the three - and they probably need to take a close look at that in the upcoming release. Go with this trio and you can't go wrong, you cover all bases. Add in Puppy if you need something even smaller and you really do well.