Well I finally got onto the 2.6 kernel via Mandrake 10 (Community Edition) and I have to say I am impressed. I'm writing now from the same HP laptop I blogged on here. Since that time I have replaced the hard drive and installed Mandrake 9.2 on a 30 GB partition. I left myself 10GB for reliving the Windows XPerience (when I feel most sadistic or masochistic). Today I installed Mandrake 10 on that 10GB partition and I'm not sure if I'll reboot to 9.2 or not. All of my data is safely available to me and I can run like this for some time before commiting to the upgrade.
My observations so far... Flash 6 on this 900Mhz Duron (durian?) is on par with my 2.2Ghz PIV box. The whole system feels much snappier and responsive.