More ram isn't necessary to avoid swapping. If you have swap usage you don't have a moderate desktop, but instead a decadent corpulent bloated desktop. That, or you're using something that needs hogs of memory, like video encoding apps, but that's beyond moderate too. I'm doing fine with 256 MB for years, and although ram is dirt cheap, I simply see no reason to buy more of it.
mgb: You might be interested in Con's swap prefetch.
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