Here's y'allses weekly success story: I dumped 'doze, tried Fedora and Mandrake (each one lasted for about 24 hrs), and then settled on Slackware. I haven't had such a happy computing experience since I made my own boot menu by editing my autoexec.bat (so that I could choose between win3.1 and dos).
And I've gone from cursing at Visual C++ to vim, g++, hopping between six virtual terminals and fluxbox, with xmms playing in the background! All in just 21 days (or so), and for the low-low price of... oh... uh, so maybe I should send the Mr. Man, Patrick Volkerding, some money...
Anyway, this isn't to brag about my l33tness, just to say wow, Slackware is great, and thanks to all the people helping out in this forum. It's been a great resource in getting everything up and running smoothly (yes, this is my first post, but I've been using the forum since day 1 of my install).
A Happy Noob
Oh, yeah, and I have a Dell Inspiron 8200, and I'll be happy try to answer questions if anybody's having trouble with a similar system.