Username or EmailPassword
Thanks for your replies.
I have not used BSD, and I have honestly not ever considered using it. Judging from your reply, I think I might try it out. I've gotten many replies and it seems that my "standards" and "package management" rants are leading me along the lines of Gentoo or BSD (Gentoo's Portage system is based on BSD's system, for those that don't know), and another smaller distro that was suggested to me is Arch Linux, which is very standard and akin to Slackware in many respects, but addresses some of my gripes.
I have to agree: Slack just works!. Aside from my gripes, packages install properly, and when they don't, they tell you and it is really easy to fix. Everything is always up to date (cron job where swaret automatically updates me to -current every night) and the system reacts as expected. I've never before been able to install so many applications so easily on any Linux system I've used, whether .tgz or from source.
When I try to compile something, it compiles (not my experience with Red Hat) properly.
When I use a command, it works - and it works tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day...etc.
When I don't know something, I Google it and I find the answer 99% of the time.
TGZ doesn't have a database and doesn't need to be rebuilt (I had to rpmbuild --rebuild many times on RH9.0 because RPM got corrupted quite a bit).
The community isn't full of kiddies posting inane (and rude) replies to honest questions (as you can see in some of the childish replies to this article, they troll OSNews and don't contribute anything worthwhile). The Slack boards are mostly free of that stuff (in my admittedly limited exposure to them). Maybe that's because it takes a more serious user to tackle Slack, maybe that's the crowd Slack attracts, I don't know.
To everyone: thanks for the replies. I have a few more OSs to install now and a lot of tweaking/fixing to do on my Slackware system - thank you to the helpful people that posted solutions to many of my issues! Thanks to Daniel de Kok for posting answers to questions, too (we look forward to additional Slack documentation on your site).