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Many a flame war has been started over which WM is best. I believe it really comes down to personal preferences and how you want to structure your Linux experience.
I'd say that if you're looking for a Windows desktop equivalent/replacement, you should continue with KDE or Gnome. You probably already know that these two are, by far, the most popular WMs out there. To me, KDE and GNOME are too mainstream for my tastes and just seem to soul-suck the real spirit of Slackware, which is power, simplicity, and raw "tweakability" to get the most out of your system.
So, if you're a real Linux purist and want something different, powerful, customizable, flexible, and much more efficient than the Big Two, I think there's nothing better than FLUXBOX. Although I'm still getting the hang of Fluxbox (2nd day), I'm already in love with it. It appears there's no end to the tweaks you can apply to the Fluxbox interface, but Fluxbox's configuration is more difficult in that it depends solely on the tweaking of configuration files rather than clickety-click GUI configurators as featured in KDE and GNOME. The advantage? It keeps Fluxbox lightweight and bloody fast! See http://www.fluxbox.org for the whole scoop and some impressive screenshots.
If you have full Slack 9.1 installed, you already have Fluxbox and several other great window managers ready to use. Open a terminal and run "xwmconfig", and you'll get a list of many different preinstalled WMs to choose from. Just select the one you want to try, exit the program, drop out of your current WM, and run "startx" to try your new WM.
Now, I'm not 100% positive that this won't mess up any of your GNOME settings if you decide to go back to it, but I've yet to experience any problems of that nature (I've swapped WMs several times without incident in the last few days using this method). It seems that most of the WMs run independent of each other without too many overlaps. One nice thing about Fluxbox: it can run many GNOME and KDE apps without breaking a sweat. You can get the best of both worlds (and then some) if you know what you're doing.
I've been running Slack for around 3-4 months now and I still have yet to pick a WM/DE that I will use exclusively (although I am starting to lean toward Fluxbox or XFce). I have looked around for other users opinions, as you are doing now, for which was the best. The was no clear cut answer. Seemed like they all had good points and bad. My advise is to play around with each for awhile (Slack comes with quite a few if you did the full install) and see which one does what you want it to. Then make your own decision.
Small memory footprint, you can download dock apps to show battery stats and to do whatever you want really.
I use Dropline Gnome 2.6 everyday at home and I don't see how you are relating it to Win95. It rocks..
I use KDE 3.2.1 from time to time at home. I really like it too but i find it to be to memory hungry and buggy. I don't like how it outputs error messages to vt1 so when you logout of KDE you are greated with lots of errors messages that you did not know even happened. I hope they stick it in a log file in the future release.
I use WindowMaker at school. I built a Linux cluster at my school for a project using a bunch of their older computers and WindowMaker is on the command node. It rocks.
If you made a full install of Slack you have 9 WMs to choose from. Use xwmconfig and try each and everyone of them. If you don't find one you like start looking some more. Maybe try just console for a few weeks. I think it should mandatory for Slackers anyway.