I have a Netbook, an Asus EeePC with AMD C-60 APU. I'm running Gentoo on it, since source based distributions like Gentoo are definitely the fastest ones. Gentoo might be challenging, because there are many things that can (and will) go wrong with a Gentoo installation. If you are patient (compiling webkit can take a night or so), have fun playing with a Linux system, customizing the kernel config and fine tweaking sytem settings, Gentoo definitely is the distribution for you - like the Gentoo website says: "Gentoo is all about choice". If you just need a system that just works and you don't want to invest much time in, then don't use Gentoo.
In such a case, I strongly recommend Debian Wheezy, which I had installed on the Netbook before I switched to Gentoo. Debian is very similar to Ubuntu (actually, Ubuntu is based on the "unstable" Debian version), but the Debian developers care more about stability than about new software-versions. Therefore, the just released Debian Wheezy has many software versions, that Ubuntu had in 12.04 (and some even older ones). The great thing about Debian is, that if one selects a lightweight desktop (like Xfce) when booting the installation CD (even before the installer is started, directly in the GRUB menu, under advanced options), it comes with even more lightweight software than the light Ubuntu versions. Also, I found that some programs are in the Debian repositories, which are missing under Ubuntu. There are drawbacks of course, the most important being that Debian Wheezy uses an older libc than Ubuntu 12.04, so Ubuntu 12.04 packages will in many cases not install due to missing dependencies. Also some convenience tools of Ubuntu are missing in Debian (instead of PPAs, one has to add the full deb-repository URL, there's no software center,...). In addition, Debian has the non-free repository, which contains for instance the GPU drivers for AMD and nVidia, disabled by default (it's not difficult to enable it, but it might be that after installation the GUI does not start and one has to use the command line for driver installation...).