For the time being, I have gone with Linux Mint Debian Edition which is a heady cocktail of Mint, Debian and Debian-Multimedia repositories and suits my pragmatic approach to non-free extras. So, it's installed and I have got everything to work – in fact, my desktop looks identical and only the Mint branded GDM login screen gives the game away.
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
This was the first distro not to play nicely with my soundcard and was fixed by downloading hda-verb and appending the following to
/usr/local/sbin/hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x01 SET_GPIO_MASK 3
/usr/local/sbin/hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x01 SET_GPIO_DIRECTION 1
/usr/local/sbin/hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x01 SET_GPIO_DATA 1
Don't ask me why, but it just worked.
05:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01)
As ever, my BCM4311 wifi card failed to be detected and was quickly fixed by:
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
sudo modprobe b43
Here's a screenshot.