All-righty, then! I was all set to tell you about how I was getting along with Arch Linux... until something went wrong with my ethernet card. It took a while to narrow it down to a hardware issue... I was convinced for a day or so that I'd messed something up with my Arch network settings. I borrowed my daughter's XP laptop to determine that it was not a router issue. I tried several different Linux live cd's on my machine, and they all had the same problem, so that told me that it was likely a hardware issue, but I wasn't 100% convinced until... I reinstalled Windows Vista, and even it could not get through.
Reinstalling Vista, of course, wiped out my Arch installation. (Yes, I had backed up my /home directory.) I wound up buying another ethernet card at Wal-Mart (not too many other places open 24 hours, you know!) After that card proved to be too ancient (my first clue was the floppy disk in the box! It's been 4 years since I had a machine with a floppy drive!), and failing to find Vista drivers for the new card, I returned it and bought another card at a local computer geek shop, which Vista recognized immediately.
The end of the sad story is that I used Vista to download Mepis 8 beta-2 (64-bit), and I am in the process of re-creating my desktop. My only disappointment is that it is KDE 3.5, but I guess I can deal with that for now. I know they have KDE 4 in their repositories, but I think I'll save that for a while.
Check back for my review of Mepis 8... so far so good!