Glad I could help... I've never liked writing, and it's nice to know that it was worth the effort.
As far as distros, you really should try them yourself and see what you think. I've never really tried Slackware long-term, so I can't compare.
When/if you try Debian, I recommend using the testing release (3.1? a.k.a. Sarge) not the stable release (3.0 a.k.a. Woody)... I found the installer MUCH easier to use and the packages are much more current. I've had problems getting the X windows installer to auto-detect video settings properly in some cases... improvements may have been made by the time you try, but in any case it seemed to work more consistently for me if I picked the "Desktop" group (IIRC) when the install asks about additional package groups.
I've tried Gentoo and recommend it at least as a learning experience (the install documentation is excellent). I used it for a few months before I got tired of compiling everything myself... you may find you like it. In theory, Gentoo also supports binary packages... but I never tried to use that option.
If you try Gentoo and decide you want more control or a more in-depth learning experience, check out Linux from Scratch (www.linuxfromscratch.org