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One year ago I chose slackware distribution because it was the first at this time compatible
with 2.6 kernels out of the box (module-init-tools etc...).
As I use linux as a workstation/Desktop, not as server, I wanted to try the preemptive feature.
I remember I noticed a noticable speed difference in X (in KDE, open more quickly the windows).
I never see a reason to revert to 2.4 since that.
Most distros have prebuilt 2.6 kernels in rpms/debs that u can download & install w/out having to compile the source code (though it has been argued that the latter is preferable). I believe firewire support (drivers etc) and NTFS write support is more stable in 2.6 than in 2.4 (though still experimental). I also believe there has been a slight improvement in performance of my X after upgrading the kernel. It's best to use the latest stable kernel if you connect a lot of devices on the fly (like non mass-storage USB/Firewire stuff, digikams etc) as it is more probable that a compatible driver exists in the modules tree of a newer kernel. I don't think it's that big of a deal, though. 2.4 is fine (but not 2.2, as I have been told by some of the kernel developers that they rebuilt and modernized a lot of the hardware layer stuff when they went from 2.2-2.4).
I recommend swtiching up to 2.6 if you feel like your desktop drags or need better performance in games.
If your not using slack for gaming, then it's not that big of a deal.
Although compiling your own kernel is a good idea IMO.
That way you have it setup perfect for your individual system.
I like running 2.6.7 on my laptop and desktop. My laptop is an older machine, and I like the way 2.6.7 performs on it. For servers I still use 2.4.x though. There are a few really nice speed improvements that really make it worthwhile.