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In the article the Gentoo package management system, portage, is mentioned, and... yes, it's what you would like Slackware to do: it downloads the source code, compiles and installs the program, manages dependences and does a great job, overall.
I have tried Mandrake and Debian, and switched to Gentoo last xmas. I have finally found my home in Linux, too.
Anyway, if you want a GUI-only, simple, not customizable Linux distribution, better forget Slack or Gentoo and try another one.
P.D. - Never had a problem with the mouse wheel