Hi David! Thanks for the reply! Interesting that you too were a Mandriva user that selected Mint for your next distro
This Gnome/KDE difference is also very interesting, I have never been able to enjoy Gnome because it doesn't allow me the freedom of customisation I want, but I think it is a very good thing that Linux has two such excellent top-dog DEs!
Anyway, Mint seems very solid, and while I haven't tried installing it yet I read that the maintainer (or what it is called in the Mint world) of the KDE version has apparently added KDE4 support. So the two remaining questions for me are
(1) Does Mint support CJK and Swedish character input (f.i. comes configures with SCIM/Anthy or similar to allow me to to switch at a button between any locale)
(2) Does MInt support the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000?
Yes, it is a MS product, but their hardware is much, much better than their software, and this is perhaps the most comfortable keyboard ever made. I recommend it to any and all programmers!
Again, thanks for any input!