Thank you for your reply. The buttons remained gray even after choosing a different theme. It happened with all buttons.
But this doesn't apply now. I was struggling with KDE 4 for the past two weeks not realising that my graphics card was not up to it, and I had some issues in Gloria, on top of that very little time to resolve them. It all became very intimidating.
Now I have installed Linux Mint 5 RTS and it works like a dream. I can't wait to adjust myself to it. And its interface is indescribably elegant. I still have some networking issues with it, but I'll post that in the appropriate forum.
Speaking of which, I really appreciate the organisation of your forums. These clear cut categories make everything very easy and most moderators don't may good attention to that.