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Slacks packages aren't that old and neither are debian's if you're using woody or sid.
Debian - Easy to update and maintain.Good for people that want a clean and stable system without worrying about dependencies.
Slackware - Takes abit more work to setup and tune to your likings but software is compiled and optimized for your system.
Both have its pros and cons,but I personally prefer debian because I didn't want to spend my time searching for package dependencies and compiling programs.You could just try them both out and see which one suits you more.
well... i'd say if you're in it for an educational trip, try slack. there's no package management system. BSD style init scripts. etc etc. you get to learn a lot from it.
if you're in it for usability alone, well any linux distro man. probably one with a package management system. gets things going more easily. debian has arguably the best package management system in the house...
Well debian supports soundcards, you just have to install the module for your soundcard in the kernel (it will ask you in the installer) and then you have to add your user to the audio group.
For myself i use a "awe64 Gold ISA" which works perfect.
If your idea of fun is finding out ways to get things to work and exploring the inner workings of Linux then get Slack. Personally I love that, its like a hobby. If that doesnt sound like fun to you then it might not be the distro you're looking for.