Trying KDE as the main work desktop

Until a year ago, when I had my first hands-on experience with Ubuntu, I was a KDE fan. I still admire the desktop and follow closely the development, but I was so impressed at that time by the uniformity and visual appeal that Gnome, under Ubuntu, offered, that I switched. Recently I found the Gnome desktop to be a bit on the slow on my laptop, so I've tried several lighter window managers. First, my trusted WindowMaker. I totally dig wmaker. But I became too used to a full desktop, and I don't feel that I can waste too much productive time configuring the window menu to be the way I like it, so I gave up on it. Next, I've tried blackbox & fluxbox, which I found to be ugly and quickly abandoned. I've played a bit with e16, as it was one of my old time favourites, but I didn't have the patience to configure it to my liking. So I've installed kde 3.5 and now I'm testing it (one note: I still haven't installed the kubuntu-desktop package, just the kde-desktop).

Impressions so far: first, I had some serious problems with the sound. It worked perfectly in Gnome, but I couldn't get anything from KDE. After I've played several times with various mixers and killed several applications, I got it to work. BUT... there's no support (as far as I could see) for the volume control buttons that my HP Compax NX6125 has. I don't know how to configure kmilo, so that's it. Luckily, I can configure some keyboard shortcuts in amarok's global shortcuts, so it's not all lost.

Amarok seems better in handling online radio streams. Rhythmbox became very unresponsive when the network choked. I still like the simplicity of the Rhythmbox interface better.

Although I spent some time trying to get KDE to look a bit better, it still feels ugly, compared to Gnome. There are a myriad of little things that make Gnome to feel "better integrated" and friendlier to me. On the plus side, KDE seems to be trying harder at integration: Firefox and all the other Gnome applications follow the KDE theme and KControl has several checkboxes to control this. I'm still giving KDE a chance, at least to prove that it works faster and better then Gnome. Also, I'm still using the "heavyweights": Poseidon, Firefox & jEdit, so it all comes down to the desktop environment to improve my workflow. I'll see what the results are in a few days.