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Good article but tbh I think you might have missed the point of Slackware - the reason Dropline isn't included etc. is because Slackware includes things as the developer's intended them to be - they don't change the menu in KDE/Gnome or set a 'Slackware' theme a la Blue Curve.
At the end of the day Slackware can make an awesome desktop OS but you're right - it takes work to get there. I for one would hate to see this change though, Slackware isn't meant to be (and hopefully never will be) bogged down with GUI config apps and "holding your hand" mentality. It's simple in the true meaning of the word - no gumff. It's a geek's OS and hopefully it always will be.
As you mentioned though - it would be sweet to have ALSA unmuted and to have OSS removed completely Took me ages to work out why my sound wasn't working after upgrading from 9.0 to 9.1