Finally got some peripherals sorted and started the 'get it running' process. Used the Wiki Peripherals page to select some of the bits needed, and the tutorials on Wiki to prepare the Samsung 4GB SDHC card (done on a Mac, using a £6 SanDisk card reader bought from Curry's). Had to resize the partition on the Pi itself later on. No apparent problems with the SD card or the card reader.
Apart from the bits mentioned above, I used (or attempted to use) the following, with varying degrees of success:
Kensington Dome 7 port powered usb hub model 1500129 - Cannot get a mouse to work when this hub is used. Have tried the k/b and mouse plugged into the hub; k/b into hub and mouse into Pi; and k/b into hub and mouse into k/b. In all cases the mouse works initially and then stops working after Startx.
Apple keyboard A1048 - seems to work inconsistently. Getting a lot of repeat keystrokes, whether plugged into the hub or into the Pi.
Microsoft Basic Intellimouse 1.0A, black, 2 button+scroll - works when plugged into the pi, and when the usb hub is not connected.
HDMI cable and hdmi/div adaptor from Toolstation (chosen because they were cheap).
For the power supply I have tried 3 different ones:
Apple iPod charger (originally supplied with a 4g iPod 20gB Photo), rated at 5v, 1.0A. Actual voltage across TP1/TP2 4.82v. Issues with keyboard repeats preventing logging in, so couldn't measure the voltage when running the GUI.
Apple iPad charger (as supplied with iPad2), model A1357, rated at 5.1v, 2.1A. Actual measured voltage 4.74v. Same k/b issues as above.
Maplin micro usb power supply, code N19HX, http://www.maplin.co.uk/micro-usb-power-supply-393067
. Actual measured voltage 4.85v.
(I also tried powering the Pi from the Kensington usb hub, but have seen a few conflicting opinions on whether this is wise. Will have to do some more research on this).
Impressions so far -
Choice of peripherals is hit and miss. Even using the Wiki Peripherals information, you can't seem to guarantee that any particular selection will work correctly either with the Pi, or with each other. There is a fair bit of information on working peripherals, but it is very widely spread and difficult to research.
The Pi itself seems incredibly sensitive to power supply and usb issues. I'm well aware that this is the first production run, but these seem rather too fundamental not to have been addressed before now (even if only too the extent of the Foundation supplying a list of known, working and recommended peripherals).
You don't necessarily get what you pay for - for instance, based on my experience I wouldn't recommend the Apple k/b or the Kensington hub, both quite expensive items.
On the few occasions I have managed to successfully enter the name/password, and start the gui with a working mouse, I am quite impressed with the speed - certainly better than I had been led to expect, and more than adequate for a bit of Python control work.