So I finally had it with ubuntu on my machine. If you don't like gnome it's not the way to go. If you don't like xorg, it's not the way to go. If you don't like having a billion problems getting exotic things like "fonts" to work right across all of your applications, when you decide to use a window manager other than gnome, well, it's not the way to go. If you don't like having every new piece of software you apt-get assume that you have gnome running when it links, well, it's not for you.
If you're happy with a linux version of Windows, and don't plan on running a different window manager, and are cool with everything just sorta working, then it's terrific.
So I started a straight debian install, since I do like apt-get. I'm hoping that it'll link things properly based on what I actually have installed and operating, rather than what it assumes I did.
I should write a module for Neverwinter Nights where gnomes are more powerful than dragons, and if you succeed in killing one it kills you too.
I made a list of everything I actually want to install, and well, the base system is 96% installed. Now I'll get to pick everything manually (if you tell it to go ahead and configure X for you, well, it goes ahead and installs gnome and all of its buddies like evolution).
OK, looks like the package manager is up, so it's time to tell it what I want.
Maybe my next entry won't be pissed off.