Changed my Debian Etch box from 2.6.18-386 (or whatever it was...) to:
It wasn't as bad as I thought. At first I thought I'd broke something, because the kernel source kept complaining about me not having qt3 development... something or other installed.
When I downloaded the kernel source from kernel.org and used the nCurses method of tweaking the settings it worked fine.
I'm not altogether sure about how long it took, I just set it...