I can comment on the SUSE 9 install...
I have installed 9.0 about a dozen times in the last month. YAST (suse's setup tool) is very easy to use... one area you may get confused on is the package management... left untouched, I believe that it doesnt even install KDE... you need to chose modify on that group, change the filter to "Selections", then add other stuff like webserver etc.
If you chose NOT to use the actual retail cdroms (which I would suggest if you have any access to high speed internet and any space pc with 6BG free space), the network install is somewhat confusing, and may require expalnation from someone... I couldnt find the documentation on the suse site.
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with any install questions.
btw.... although suse claims that you must purchase a retail package in order to get security updates, access to the suse portal etc, you can get everything on your own without paying anything. Just sign up for the suse portal as a personal user (sounds like you are), and run YAST2 (suse's main GUI config tool) Online Update to get ANY kind of security or package update.... even to do full version upgrades etc!