It may be that you just need to restart your X server. You can restart your machine, or you can log out to your login manager, then hit the key combo:
CTRL ALT BACKSPACE
And that should restart the X server.
There are 'so many problems with linux' because of it's nature of giving you control over your computing experience. When you did those 'updates' were they official updates from SuSE or were they random files on the web? Or were they a mix of both, which included unsupported software? Usually supported software from the major distros doesn't cause such a pain when updated, and at the very worst, a simple reboot is usually all that is necessary to fix it.
So, the problems aren't necessarily with Linux, it's with the vast selection of packages that people choose to install...