Well I took the plunge and installed Slackware 9.0 and it rocks. Everything is going swimmingly. But I have tried to install a game called Powermanga and when I do ./configure i get this and it fails
checking for sdl-config... /usr/bin/sdl-config
checking for SDL - version >= 0.11.0... yes
checking for Mix_GetChunk in -lSDL_mixer... no
configure: error: Could not find -lSDL_mixer
it looks like an SDL_mixer error, but iv'e installed the .tgz package for it from linuxpackages.net. So SDL is present as far as I know.