I have the same laptop (sony pcg frv26) with a windows XP / suse 9 dual boot. Suse is a good start for this laptop. Initially I had tried Red hat 9 but had problems with the graphical interface (startx). Though I could make it functional (check the site http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/sony.html
) I later on switched to suse 9. Suse 9 works pretty well.
No problems with basal level functioning.
Sound card and graphic card (radeon) is autodetected. However I could not get the 3D acceleration work.
You will have to install the modem drivers from linuxant.com. I could not get the kinternet (default dial up tool) work but I could connect the dialup with kppp.
mplayer work pretty well. I have not yet tried the CD player. But I think it should not be a problem. I had to install xmms (some libraries) separately. But it works fine now. A googling would give you the details on that.
Function keys do not work. Neither hibernation or suspend. If you configure the kernel (2.4) with suspend, they say that you can suspend to disk. But I have not tried it. Suse 9.1 uses the 2.6 kernel and everyone tells me that the function keys and hibernation work there.
Functions like battery charge indicator, etc work fine.
I could configure an external wireless card (netgear wg511) once I got the driver from linuxant. People say that you can make it work with prism54 but I could not find out how to make it functional. You can get the driver from linuxant for $20. Suse 9.1 onwards seems to have the prism54 driver preinstalled. I basically feel that it would be better if you try suse 9.1 or 9.2
If you have any specific doubts, please feel to contact me.
With best regards,