Ive now done an Etch install on the same Thinkpad I recently used for evaluating seven single-CD distros, and this article explains what I did and how it worked out.
I began by downloading RC1 of the Debian "testing" net-install CD (aka "etch RC1") iso file from here. Its a quick download, being a 100-150MB file. I like that.
After burning the CD from the iso, I popped it into the Thinkpad, and booted it up.
After hitting Enter to start the install, it began running the now-familiar blue-screen wizard, the same as Sarge had done, in my recent Debian server project.
The installation proceeded without a hitch. I was presented with a dozen or so easily answered prompts for input (administrator password, user name/password, computer name, timezone, etc.). There were two or three whose questions were unclear or cryptic, but I accepted the defaults provided, gritted my teeth, and hit Enter to enable the process to continue–and apparently no harm resulted.