Thanks for the welcome and well wishes!
I'm looking forward to my new life of Slak!
For anyone getting ready to jump in to a LINUX world of their own, I offer this preparatory advice:
1. Research *all* distros on forums (like this) and various websites (do a search, you'll find something).
2. Once you choose a distro, go to it's website and read any documentation they have available. Also check the doc sites for LINUX in general (www.linuxdoc.org, www.linux.org,
etc). Read, read, read. It will force you to go through the whole install in your head and get it somewhat straight ahead of time.
3. Check hardware compatibility! You definitely don't want this to sneak up and bite you while you're in the middle of an install. There are some good hardware HOWTO's and the XFree86 site is great for video card information (that's the part I agonized over the most for this project.)
4. See if there are any local user groups in your area where you can meet folks who have worked with LINUX already - they can help out a lot. Many LUG's have a website with info. on installation and such. Check it out.
Those are some of the steps I took which made things go smoothly. Good luck to everyone who's just getting started!