Sorry to here that KDE's "reconstruction" of your .kde Directory Tree messed things up.
If you've still got that .kde_old, do the following:
(1) Make an entirely new UserID (in MCC), and then log into it using a KDE Session. KDE does things on the *FIRST* session which it failed to do when you simply moved your old .kde (kde keeps some things about specific Users within /var, and this apparently messed up your hopeful re-initialization).
(2) Within IceWM, or from a SU Root Session within your NEW UserID: Restore your OLD $HOME/.kde Tree (ALL of it!).
(3) Still working as Root, copy just four files from the NEW UserID's ./kde/share/config into the broken UserID's ./kde/share/config:
Even just the /config Directory contains hundreds of files, but ONE OF THESE FOUR files is responsible. (Probably only one-- but when I had the problem, I searched for files within .kde/share/config which contained the string 'keyb' and got only these 4 files, so I replaced them all. Then I logged in as the 'broken' UID, with a KDE Session, and:
My previously busted KDE is now
And by the way, replacing kickerrc didn't destroy my previously created and very complicated panels, they were preserved.
(4) If you don't need it anymore, destroy the new UserID (and it's group) from MCC.