Im looking for some advice on where to start with a Linux media center pc.
i have used Linux here and there in the past as a desktop system and run Smoothwall as my Net server/firewall.

My TV has a standard xpin - D plug input to allow me to view my Pc at high res on 32" of LCD and i want to make the most of it

Features im looking for:
a PC with easy controls day to day (mouse only/IR Control)
to enable me to
Play DVDs from a DVD drive
Mount ISO DVDs from a HDD (to play)
Stream Video (i know there could be some problem with some streams that use M$)
Play music from my collection
Possiblly: Play HD DVDs from a Xbox USB HD-DVD player
Play various video files (mpg, divx, xvid, etc.)
Run bit torrent
(and posible network QOS to enable streaming video to get all the bandwidth it needs)

features i dont require:
Any kind in Live TV (from ariel / sky / Cable)

Im still working on all the features the system should have, but i welcome input at this point.

p.s. I would really like to build my own distro that is stripped down, but im only current in the M$ Languges atm (vb.net, vb6, asp, asp.net, and a little c#.net)