I just installed a new distro called Ubuntu Linux and it's based on Debian. It's using gnome 2.8, kernel 2.6.8.1 and most other newer software.

Some of the developers are from Debian & Gnome so it should be a great distro using Gnome DE.

So far I like it and will see how long I like it!

http://www.ubuntulinux.org/