well, I have been doing some more with this over the last few weeks, although time has been scarse, I have managed to install LXDE ontop of the standard Gnome based Ubuntu, and run Echolink (via WINEHQ) to prove that I have more resources on the Echolink Node PC using LXDE, so outgoing audio (from radio to IP side) is now being processed. This proves that Gnome is more resource hungry and not suitable on a dedicated server based applic like Echolink when implemented on older hardware. I definitely recommend Xfce or LXDE for your dedicated applics, but Gnome and KDE are still perfect replacements for a desktop 'workstation' replacement for a Wintel box.
However, having said that, running LXDE created a new problem, incoming Echolink (from IP side to radio) is now non-existant, but this is a soundcard output issues with LXDE which I will have a look at time permitting, so at this point in time, my Echlolink node is running, but not functioning. Realistically, running Echolink via WINEHQ on Linux is not really desirable, but a short gap solution.
Long term, I would like to do some work with 'The Bridge' and 'TheLinkBox' which are Linux based packages, available of SourceForge to provide a Echolink conference bridge (TheBridge) and a conference bridge/radio gateway (TheLinkBox), but looking at the documentation, these
are not simple click, install, run, as compared to the original Echolink package for Wintel, but anyway, it's still a work-in-progress project.