First for the slack network stuff... have you tried netconfig???
And For the rest your post I just can give a big laugh!
(don't get me wrong, just a little joke to my "old debian friends"
Debian Official release still comes with KDE 2.2!!! How could come with kernel 2.4.6??? Debian has that woody 3.0 version out for too long.... A complain I always hear about Debian (I used it before) is that debian now only takes care about people installing woody (or a basic woody system) and installing/upgrading everything through apt-get.... they don't care about releasing a new official cd version... in the end you would still have to upgrade the kernel by yourself... and you as a newbie (I assume that from your post) I'll have a bigger problem 'cause debian is divided in stable testing and unstable each of them having their own packages.... stable still is in kde 2.2 and kernel 2.4.18 I think.... you would have to choose one of the paths and go through it.... if you mix packages from stable or/and testing or/and unstable you'll fall in the old dependency hell like many friends of mine... And debian installation is hell comparing to slack installation.... "been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, ok?"
my advice: just go to the slackware forum and follow the instructions about kernel recompilation.... any issues come to us ok? hope this helps in your decision....