So I went ahead and tried to install the XFCE edition - it was a complete disaster.
At first all was well - it booted fast, installed with seemingly no problems, so I want ahead and started pulling in my old data from my backups into it, as well as installing all my old software.
"What the heck, I'll give XFCE another roll!" I thought, but lo, when I tried to install mysql, it kept failing to start. Odd!
I thought this spiffy new driver manager can install nvidia without sgfxi - so I checked the nvidia driver in it. But then both nouveau and nvidia were checked. So I tried to uncheck nouveau.
Which led to it installing both of them and my computer failing to start a second time. Also SAMBA and WINBIND, as well as some "mailing daemon" (can't remember the name, something with M and X I think) failed to start - I only saw this because my desktop failed to start.
"Oh well!" I thought "Let's go with sgfxi!"
Eventually I get my desktop up and running again, and install skype (mysql is trying to configure itself - and failing - every time i call apt, now).
I make a call and the person on the other side can't hear me.
I open alsa mixer, and surely enough, my microphone is muted.
I unmute it. Huge mistake. I am now unable to unmute it without muting my headphones.
Furthermore, the only one who hears what goes into my microphone is me - the other side on skype STILL can't hear it!
I disconnect my headphones.
It gets worse. The internal microphone is now locked in a feedback loop with the internal speakers, producing a horrible screeching sound unless speakers are muted.
Something is horribly wrong with this