I must tell you that no one I know of has GNOME running on their Ben, and if they do, it has got to be really SLOW! The Qi-OpenWRT that the guys have worked so hard on is probably the best graphical option right now in terms of usability. This device is WELL below even the barest system requirements to run such a huge GUI as GNOME or even LXDE for that matter. Perhaps you are not the intendet audience for the Ben as it is mainly for developers. Maybe we would sell more Ben's if such and such were true, but for those of us that are drawn to it, it is already all that we want. We are not trying to be appl3, and make a mass-market device, but dreamers with a lot of experience and no fear to dive in and be technical. It is no problem if you are not one of these people! (But if you feel like you want to BECOME one, feel free to hang out here and see what you can learn.) If you have really simple needs, like wanting to pluck out a few text files and save them, I think you might use your 100+ dollars better, so send me an email (email@example.com) or get in touch some other way.
If you feel like you really want to get a Nanonote, I can tell you the best graphical environment that will run reasonably with Debian is probably Icewm. In fact, here is a video of Abiword running under Icewm (but the underlying OS is JLime):
The video is some 2 years old now.
If you want a simple, small mobile device to have around, I have been experimenting with all kinds since '07. Again, shoot me a mail if you are interested because if you do not plan to develop or do serious programming, then the Nanonote is way overpriced for your needs. Hope that helps and you find a device suitable for you.