I wouldn't worry about those numbers in DistroWatch, either. I just happen to hear about pardus from the Linux Mint newsletter and their release of KDE version. Someone said to have a serious look at pardus, and since I'm a big fan of KDE, I was tempted. I have never heard about this distro and it looks like something I would be happy to use. It has some innovations, and I like to see people try creating new and workable ideas.
Word of mouth is powerful!