I guess I am going about things the wrong way or something, but I routinely have trouble with package managers. Here are my problems:
1) With RPM based distro's I usually end with something refusing to install. Sometimes with "circular" dependency conflicts where something needs to be uninstalled (which sometimes isn't even installed anyway!) for something else to install but then it ends up eventually ends up depending in some way on the thing I am installing anyway. I guess I can use the --force option, but I figure it will eventually just make my distro unstable.
2) With Debian, things usually install, but at the cost of uninstalling large portions of my system. Usually KDE and Gnome ends up being removed. Sometimes it's worse. Debian is really what I am interested in learning how to deal with because of it's large software base, and "apt-get" and "dselect" does work well when it doesn't uninstall most of my system.
3) I get along the best with Slackware because it simply doesn't do any dependency checking. So after I install something, I have to manually find and install (or trick) all the dependent files to make it work. This should be the hardest solution but somehow for me it has been the easiest, except that it eventually catches up to me as I make my Slackware distro unstable and then have to give up and install the latest version anyway.
I feel I must be missing something. How do others keep their OS up-to-date without major hassles? Is there any documents I can
that can suggest strategies, methods, and tips for dealing with all this?