Welp, I didn't get Helix Gnome - BUT I did manage to update to Xfree86 4.0 and KDE 2.1beta2 under Debian!
Small feat, but gawd I am estatic!
How I did it:
1. Clean install - only installed Xwindows(core) + dev packages (gnome was not installed)
2. Added an unstable ftp site to /etc/apt/sources.list
3. apt-get install kdebase
apt-get is dah best thing since beer, welp I wouln't go quite that far...