I have taken a long and winding road since my last post, but have landed (for now) with Kubuntu 9.10. I had worked through the pain of setting up Arch Linux with KDEmod repositories and all, but could not seem to get past a dysfunctional Akonadi server, which would pester me every time I wanted to open Kmail or Korganizer or Kontact. So now, all is working very nicely with Kubuntu Karmic.
I did have an issue with installation… the live CD installation would stop every time with “scanning disks” at 47%, and simply would not proceed. I got around that by downloading the Alternate Install CD.
Here is a screenshot: