Hey, who let the wise-cracker out?
Good to meet you, Terry!
You sound like me in your past few years of trying out distros. It's interesting to read the distros one has tried, and may try again in the future.
About 3 years ago my husband brought home knoppix live disk. Our old k7 cpu didn't like it, our lack of ram, so we never gave it a go, but I got to see what the kde desktop looked like. Then someone recommended Simply Mepis, so I tried that and liked it very much. Then I got a used iMac Tiger os and took a vacation from Mepis for a year or less. So, I forgot all that I had learned (I have bad memory). Then I had my husband get ubuntu feisty, and I couldn't get used to the layout, with the top bar pull down menus ( I still have this problem with os x). I know I probably could have changed the desktop, but I didn't. I also didn't like it's lack of straight out of the box dial-up support. I had to use my other computer and go online to figure out wvdial. I missed kde. Then tried kubuntu gutsy and it was too buggy for my system. I tried the live kubuntu 64 heron disk and installed it, but had problems with package updates---numerous for default setup and I lost sound in the end. I didn't like kubuntu's anemic kde desktop. Well, what could I expect, as most of the work goes into ubuntu and gnome. So, I ended up getting steered away to Mint 5.0 kde community edition. I liked it, but was getting boot error, and sound wasn't recognized. ( You're yawning by now ) And then I tried Mint Elyssa and was very impressed. They do a good job, but I still like kde and would rather have a good running kde distro. So, now it is Pardus and I too am very pleased with it straight out of the box! I, too, like the art work. Who ever designed the icons did a great job. I like that crazy cat! Stability is so important. If it isn't stable, one is going to leave it. I so far see it as stable for my particular system.
Enough of my jabbering. Oh, my dad was born in Detroit, though his father originally was from middle Kentucky. They don't make Verner's Ginger Ale soda like they used to.
Oh, and I think I know what you mean about it being different. I think that is what makes it alluring for me. So many other distros seem to be re-hashes of others, or so of the ones that I have tried. Pardus is refreshing!