Thanks for the great information. I'm going to have to get around to trying this on my 512 Pi. Right now I have it streaming 1080 video from my NAS with no issues at all using Raspbmc. Some folks with the 256 version have issues streaming so you may be correct with your assessment of memory and performance of Mango. Also as you pointed out, voltage supply to the Pi is critical to good performance. Many people without meters are astonished to see their "5V supply" is running much less, especially under load.
I am amazed you are doing all this in an apartment! Good job.
I have the Pi case from Sparkfun in the US. It has the opening for the GPIO pins and is a good cheap case. I must be available on your side of the pond.
Too many projects and ideas floating around in my head and garage...........