Actually - just had a good post from nOObified
in this thread here
which explains where to find rpms and stuff for RH9.
I always ran RH9 under a vanilla kernel myself - though I usually advise newbies to get a distro kernel if they can. At least keep the one that the distro came with: you know
that one works.
The trick is getting everything you need compiled in. However, the tools have got so much more useable since the old 2.4.20-9 ... the main advantage is that only what you need is in there and it is compiled exactly for your system. (The main disadvantage is that it is you
doing the compiling.) It's worth doing at least once for the object lesson, even if you don't use the kernel.
With RH9, you'd be lucky to get precompiled (recent) kernels.