Work. Work-work-work. A bit more of work.
That’s what it took for me to get a decent desktop running. After a lot of things I had to go through, including a fresh install, a huge amount of bizarre errors, a reinstall, an upgrade to lenny, a driver compilation and lots and lots and lots of installed packages, I finally have a minimally decent desktop.
The best part is, it’s Debian. This may seem a completely moot point, but I actually missed all the stuff I had to go through to get things begin to work the way I want them too.
It’s not finished, yet. For example, I still wasn’t able to make compiz work here. And I still haven’t got my gnome configurations how they should be. But gnome settings are the last thing I’m worrying about right now; first I want everything just working. When I get that I’ll worry about how I want everything to be.