Thanks for the help Tinkster. I have already ditched Mandriva and installed ubuntu 5.10. I prefer KDE to Gnome (though KDE does seem to crash more), but figured I would give Ubuntu another try now that I have figured out how to configure alsamixer for my soundcard and how to get my modem running in both distros.
One negative about Ubuntu (though I am sure it is something I am missing) is I cannot get it to recognize the full resolution capabilities of my monitor, nor can I get the Nvidia config utility to even recognize my monitor as a LCD. It still has it listed as a CRT with a maximum resolution of 1280X1000 (or something thereabouts) while my monitor is capable of 1400X990. Mandriva recognized it on the first install with no tweaking and already had it set to the maximum resolution and refresh rate. Ubuntu isn't doing that. Could be because the kernel Mandriva is using is slightly a newer version than the one Ubuntu ships with.