I've been using SuSE for about 3 years now. I had similar problems. UNTIL I installed apt4rpm (acutally apt-get for rpm, not the server version apt4rpm).
To solve your problem, you need to install the new package, then make a whole bunch of sym-links to non-existant files with the correct names, in the correct locations. What this means, because of backwards compatilibity, you can use the new files but not the new capabilities of them.
With apt-get (for rpm), when you log onto the internet, and run 'apt-get upgrade' to get the list of the latest packages from a repository appropiate to your distro, then run 'apt-get install <packagename>', apt-get takes care of the dependencies for you, upgrading packages as required, installing new packages as required, and removing packages as required.
Apt-get is very good about giving you options on how to handle a problem.
All praise to the good folks at Debian for apt-get, and the good folks at Connectiva for the port to rpm (hope I got the credits correctly).
Makes my peepee tingle just thinking of what I can do with SuSE via apt-get for rpm.