Good to know. Eventually I need to dump Mint 8 KDE off of a work station. Been biding time and seeing how LMDE works on a laptop. I think, perhaps, some of the tone of my "observations" in this thread betrayed a lack of caffeine and patience..... but there is an horrific gut feeling that "oh noes, it's all broke and I'll never get my head again wrapped around the infinite, arcane linuxology" necessary to fix stuff.
Over the years it's gotten easier. Plus the quick help here testifies to a cool user community.... where n00bs aren't necessarily made to feel like abject failures. Some of us have given up on Windows but, sometimes for reasons of time and energy, find it hard to keep up with a level of knowledge necessary to be truly competent in Linux. Still, I'm glad I switched to Mint.