i have got everything working like a peach under slackware 10.2. my only gripe is that the Xorg shipped with it (Xorg 6.8.2) has crappy support for my i810 graphics card. VIdeo playback is poor and hardware scaling on it does not work (i.e. when mplayer or xine plays a video file, it cannot expand it to full screen size). Apparantly its because support for i810 has deteriorated since Xorg 6.8.
I am gonna try installing slackware 10.0, since that still uses Xorg 6.7.0. I remember i had no video issues using it before, so i hope it works. Full video support is important for me because one of the attractions of linux was mplayer (cvs). Not being able to use mplayer properly is a huge setback.
I'm gonna burn slack 10.0 to CD-R since it will be useful to keep this one.