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It doesn't really become Debian. The sources.list is all messed up and there are lots of other little non-Debian factors. I don't think the Knoppix people really recommend it as an HD installation. Better to install Debian Etch.
I found it amazing that some users can be against installing Knoppix. It is one of the easiest and fastest one that can be installed, about 6 minutes when I mount the iso on a loop back device to install it from a hard disk.
The Debian-type installation I believe is a traditional way of putting Knoppix in a permanent home, with /, /boot, /home...etc. The Live CD installation means Knoppix is squashed back to a temporary file and uncompressed on every application. With the former you can mount its partition to get files and data but not the latter.
Like Ubuntu which is another Debian Knoppix is willing to try new technology and is more modern. If one wants stability then goes with Debian.