I have everything working with slackware 9 on my laptop, the battery applet in gnome 2.2 works great with acpi. I also got redhat to work as well but I am using the same kernel for both, I pretty much gave up on the redhat kernel. And started from scratch with the 2.4.20 kernel from kernel.org. It worked a lot easier for me.
One other thing I have planned is to patch my kernel with all the latest patches that may affect my system. But as of now I am still trying to perfect the kernel for my laptop. Like I said everything works, but I'm sure there is still more things enabled that I really don't need on here. I just have not had time to work on it in the last few days.
if you made a copy of the original source you can start with it again and do the patches, then try building it again. Make sure you watch for errors.
I usually delete the modules right before I do make modules_install
rm -rf /lib/modules/2.4.20-9custom
you can also delete the files in /boot if you want to but it's not really necessary. Just look at the date and time on them with ls -l to see that they were created by the latest make install.