I feel like chiming in here:
regarding sound, you might find my ultra-shourt sound tutorial helpful: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...hreadid=312948
at least it should get your mental model straight and tell you what to google for. also, if you use gstreamer, have a look at gstreamer-properties.
regarding running .exe-files:
whatever has been said about being a no-can-do applies to your situation, since it regards the kernel. However, for user-space programs, they can be emulated through wine (google for it, search the rpms for it, ...). It will not do the right thing for drivers (unless someone made a seriously bad call).
btw, £25 for a box is cheap
... unless it's just a cardboard box with a CD in it, in which case it's expensive: Ubuntu will give you CDs for free, including mailing it to you. That is: grand total = 0 (favorite currency); other distros (like debian) let you download CDs for free, or install by net (which, since you don't have net with your kernel) is not an option *now*.
Also, since net, sound and printer is the most difficult issue, I'd like to congratulate you on a pain-free install
I had trouble with both booting windows (when I still had it) and starting X.
regarding ease of installation for (user space) programs (especially), see http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...0&pagenumber=2
it really is easy, you just don't know it
I see you found your way to User CP -> Edit profile -> distro; perhaps you might want to include a little more info; something along the lines of "Suse Home 9.2 (kernel 2.6.4-52)"; since distro version number and kernel version number aren't tied together, you provide more info this way--it might be the crucial piece of the proverbial puzzle.
Oh, and welcome to LQ; I hope you get the help you need, and get many happy hours using GNU/Linux