Please note, I am no expert on pc's, especially not good with hardware.

I have been thinking lately on changing my habits from a power gamer, with all my music and iso's and everything stored on my pc to a pretty basic web user. As such, I am entertaining the idea of getting a new laptop. It might be a bit of a contradiction but I am looking for it to be extremely fast to do things, but doesn't need to be powerful (think a low storage SSD).

My question about operating systems is really about windows, I dont have much experience with others. When I checked the windows folder on a friends with Windows 7, it was something like 70,000 files and 20 gig... how much of that is just extra fluff that wont ever get used? Is there any alternative to be super simple, smaller and fast?

Pretty much only has to run anti-virus/spyware, an internet browser (currently using chrome), and Instant messenger services. Optionally Notepad++, pdf/word doc viewers if I decided to do some work with it (not compilers or stuff though, that'd increase the performance needs I think.)

Any advice, thoughts, or directions gladly appreciated.