Today, I found a really nice toy - Splashy. It's a completely user-space frame buffer boot splash system. Though it is in development right now, it's already very nice. It does not require any kernel patches and has few dependencies. So I installed it (there's a deb on the web site) and rebooted my machine. It was so cool. I got a simple image with a progress bar below during all the boot process until GDM start up. I hope that splashy will develop quickly so it could be included in Debian Sarge release. There's also a #splashy IRC channel on the Freenode, where Splashy's developers chat.