Update: I went ahead with the installation this weekend. Initially I tried a windows utility that was supposed to make my USB stick bootable which did nothing so I used a command line utility I found on a EEE user forum. It wasn’t terribly complicated but did require patience. The only issue I encountered was when I didn’t delete all partitions when installing Windows.
YOU MUST DELETE ALL PARTITIONS INCLUDING THE SAMSUNG RECOVERY PARTITION IF YOU WANT TO INSTALL XP PROFFESIONAL. OTHERWISE YOU WILL GET A HAL.DLL ERROR ON BOOTUP.
Now all is working well, I reinstalled all drivers from the samsung site (make sure you have a copy of the WLAN or LAN driver saved BEFORE you install XP Pro you will not be able to get online!)