I just want to add this: Standard is almost perfect, IMO. Is not about just being light for old hardware, as Granny pointed many times, is about efficiency. Even when I have a decent machine, I dont want to run unnecessary stuff, daemons, unuseful bloated things, etc, etc. Is a waste of resources, energy and time. The system needs more attention in security, in stability. An efficient system is great in many senses. You dont need to upgrade hardware every six month. VL runs great in 1ghz cpu and 512 mb of ram. Its greener, we all know that is important now. The system is more simple, ie, more easy to maintain / configure / customize.
So, I dont see the point of change something great. Of course, always is room for improvement, and perhaps in a long future better features will be added, and others needs just to be well documented, as the install in a usb flashdrive or a very minimal base install with the chance to grow via slapt-get.
Again, if you need a very small linux for really old hardware, you can have basicLinux in a floppy, DSL / Puppy Linux, in a 50megs iso, and so on... There is a Linux distro for each person in this planet.