Thanks, but it appears my problems have only gotten worse by trying to re-install KDE elements. Upon reboot my KDE is now completely hosed, with borderless windows that are partly off screen and unmoveable. I am backing up my important files with a gnome boot (at least it still works) and I appear to have no choice but to re-install. My own fault, but in absence of anything documented that I could find, I messed with re-emerging parts of KDE and must have gotten some incompatible versions mixed. (sh*t)
I would still like to know why switching desktops goes wrong. I have had other distros installed and used to use switchdesk with no ill effects whatsoever. I must confess this is the second time I've hosed sabayon by changing desktops, the same thing happened to me with 3.26.
(sigh) I'm tempted now to try another distro, but Sabayon seems to do the most things right. I gave Ubuntu 7.10 a try (briefly) but ran into the slow DVD read/write that many others have and that (for me) was a showstopper. At least I'm not tempted by Vista ... (ugh)