After all these "this is the year of Linux on the desktop", I tried again and I'm afraid that for my desktop, I'll have to wait some more...
I installed Kubuntu 5.10 (the version of Ubuntu with KDE instead of Gnome).
As an appetizer, I was greeted by a trivial detail: when starting Firefox, it complains about a missing file: /usr/share/ubuntu-artwork/home/index.html
It turns out it is just the default home page set in that firefox package for Ubuntu. Not a big deal, but nothing in the dialog points to that, so I had to search Google to find out about it. Probably should file a bug report somewhere, but then I stumbled on something more interesting.
The network configuration in Kubuntu is supposed to be done through Knetworkconf. However, it is impossible, because the buttons of the window are below the screen bottom, and the window cannot be resized and/or moved to make the buttons appear (on my 1024x768 screen).
So I thought I would take the time to enter a bug report for that. The About box says to go to bugs.kde.org. OK. I search for an already filed bug, and don't find one. To enter a new bug, I have to register. Then I am sent a password, so I have to go to my gmail acount to get the password. Then comes a wizard to file the bug, but after most information has been entered, it hangs and eventually displays the well-known
500 Internal Server Error
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration
and was unable to complete your request.
Please contact the server administrator, webmaster at kde.org
and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything
you might have done that may have caused the error.
More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Never mind the bug report, I configured the network as usual, in the /etc/network/interfaces file and did a /etc/init.d/network restart.
Then I tried to get my Thunderbird account settings from the Windows XP install on the NTFS partition wich had a nice icon on the KDE desktop. Trying to open that gave some errors I forgot, and I had to mount the partitions the usual way with mount -t ntfs in a root shell.
When I finally got to my Thunderbird files, I discovered that Thunderbird was apparently not able to understand or import it's own settings.
As much as I appreciate Linux on my servers, my experiences with Linux on the desktop keep being pretty negative, despite my insistence...
And the fonts still look horrible...I hear Ubuntu 6.something is due to be released soon. I will give that another try.