Add an X11 server
First make sure that your kernel supports "userspace software suspend". If it doesn't (as might be with a homegrown kernel), then reconfigure your kernel to include CONFIG_SOFTWARE_SUSPEND=Y, recompile, reboot.
Now, you can update your apt using
Under Choose software to install, remove all asterisks except for "desktop environment". When you select OK the system gets going. After installing a LOT of software, Tasksel will ask you what you want your default resolutions to be. Select at least those that you want to be able to use. Then Tasksel installs and configures some more.