Your torrent session is likely using an amazing amount of memory paging. Use the "top" command and sort by memory useage with the "M" key to see the offenders. Top also has a handy "kill" feature if you want to prune the process tree. The "?" command will show other tricks it can do.
If you "broke" or "bricked" yours through software configuration, sell it on ebay. Supply and demand: should at least get your purchase price back. Through the magic of JTAG, these things are very easy to bring back to life for an old school developer.
Run less services and system checks for a faster bootup. Debian default is to run a lot so you will have a full system. Getting it to a minimalistic busybox shell in a few seconds after power up can be done. I have an ARM board set up to do just that 1.3 seconds with a modified bootloader and kernel. If you know the boot sequence fairly well, its easy to knock out what you don't need and get in the seconds.