Ok. I've used Debian for quite some time -- although I started with Slackware years back -- and it's been awhile since I attempted anything without a package manager!
I grabbed a copy
of Slackware Disc 1 and installed a basic, console-only Slackware.
First snag...WiFi. I live in a busy neighbourhood full of students eager to grab
"free" internet off a WEP-encrypted wireless router, so WPA is a must. Well, /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf didn't seem very happy to play...