http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1376336 was my Lucid netboot install.
Netboot does tend to be fast.
(BTW, these days I usually use debootstrap--which is even worse for the first-timer.
It's a script that installs a deb-based distro in a chroot, which you then configure to boot.)

For networking, I use wpa_supplicant and /etc/network/interfaces.