Continuing with my policy of not staying in the comfort zone too long with any distro, I looked around for something to replace OpenSuse with. Ubuntu 6.10 was the first choice, but I quickly got tired of its limitations (GNOME, Ubuntu's inability to exploit the higher resolutions of my laptop, etc.). I decided to give Mandriva another try, but the installation CD refused to go beyond the first (gaudily yellow) screen. The funny thing was that the same CD installed successfully in my other computer -- an old IBM ThinkCentre.
Next choice: MEPIS.
MEPIS seems to be a great distro, except for the fact that I cannot get sound to work, no matter what. Reminiscent of the trouble I had with Kububtu 6.06, which was in fact the prime reason why I moved to OpenSuse.
As a last resort, I am downloading the latest kernel sources as I type this; let me see if this brings the speakers alive.