There are so many different ways to partition that I may have recommended to you or someone else the 500 MB /boot partition. It would be slightly faster with the boot partition. What I gave you above would be slightly simpler, but equally workable.
If you have 4 Gig of RAM you wouldn't ordinarily need a swap partition using conventional rules. However, Linux expects to have a swap partition so I would create one. It isn't that you will be able to use it as more memory but because the kernel expects to have one available.
500 MB is plenty of space in a boot partition. In fact, it wouldn't hurt, in your case, to reduce it and make a swap partition out of it too. With partitions that small it doesn't matter which comes first. If you are going to use a /boot partition I would probably put the boot first just out of habit, old dogs, new tricks, and stuff like that.
So what do we have?
/boot ext2 300 MB
swap swap 200 MB
/ (root) ext3 10-12 Gig.
Data partitions ext3 20-40 Gig.?
As many as you think you need and of whatever size you think they need to be. Just keep in mind that the smaller the partition is, the faster it is.
You don't need to dedicate the entire disk now. You can leave unallocated space and expand a partition or add another partition as needed later.
Does that clear up stuff for you?
PS: I have no clue what happened with my post, relative to your thread. I though I was posting correctly.