Ok preparing a station for imaging I actually have a different image for each hardware type.
Install windows and configure it how you want them all to be settings, appearance, desktop etc...
Install any applications you may want I install mine afterwards with GPO's but some people put them on the image.
You need to use setupmgr.exe to create an answer file for the windows mini setup. A small guide to doing this is www.networkclue.com/os...stall.aspx
The you create the sysprep folder on the c: drive and include your answer file and the sysprep files.
Run sysprep and choose the mini setup option and the shutdown option.
Once sysprep has run the machine will shut down.
You know boot it from your network boot disk or whatever you have to run ghost and you choose the options to clone it to an image on your mapped network drive.
Once this is done you have a clone of this hardware that you can deploy onto other clients.
Now if you reboot the machine you just cloned it will run through mini setup and all you have to do is give it a name and let it finish setup.