Now, I bet we have all been in the position where we are connected to one of our servers, either through SSH or using some sort of KVM panel/switch, Screen to do quick multitasking. I bet a lot of your first reactions would to be to install X11 with some sort of window manager or some sort of desktop environment.
As you know, these are very large packages with lots of dependancies, and it can be a pain in the ass to purge or remove them if you don't need them any more. Not to mention that the graphics chip in your server is most likely some cruddy 8MB ATI rage or something along those lines. They really are ment to run headlessly or with a very basic terminal environment off of the graphics card. Luckily, there are a few ways to take advantage of a terminal environment so you can use it to its fullest. i am going to try and explain my two favorite options here.
Tmux stands for Terminal Multiplexer. To run it, all you need are the tmux and screen packages from your repositories. Tmux has the ability to show multiple panes of information in one terminal instance, so that you can easily multitask, or do some sort of combo, like configure some software wile having the man page open right next to it. Tmux has GNU/EMACS like commands that involve a mod key, (usually ctrl+b) plus anouther modifier key to preform an action. For instance, a new terminal pane is Mod+c. All the key combos are in the documentation, and are very easy to learn.
Here is a picture of tmux in action.
DVTM stands for Dynamic Virtual Terminal Manager. It is very similar to tmux in many ways, but with a much better status bar and some other nice features. I prefer DVTM because it has a Vi like command mode instead of EMACS bindings, which really hurt my fingers after a wile. It also has a great docs page.
Here is a picture of DVTM in action.
I hope that I introduced these really cool tools to you so that you can use them on your own, and hopefully you can contribute some things I missed! Thanks!