I'm having the same problem, when I run
as root I get the settings window up but any changes I make there don't have any effect. I had beryl working well on a previous install and I'm running Slackware 11.0 with X11R7 on Dropline with a 126.96.36.199 kernel
I found out the problem is python modules, I got pygtk for both gtk+ and gtk+2.... then I got pygobject and some other stuff, then I got a different error about unrecognized image file formats which was fixed by installing librsvg not it works. to see if your probs the same put @python@ into the terminal and then "import "module"" where "module" is the module you want to load if you get an error then something is not right and you need to install the python module first. I got most of my sources from ftp.gnome.org.