New System Set Up Script

"Does anyone have any experience writing a script that will set up a new computer in an office? This would include making folders, setting up users and groups, copying files, and all of the other task required to set up a new system. "
While I love applescript (& XML), part of the battle is preparation. Is it possible to set up a Zip disk or folder on your network server or floppy disk with the required folders, preferences settings, etc., then use an applescript to place the items in the proper location on the new hard drive? The script would be much simpler, then, merely directing the copying of files instead of creating folders or setting preferences.