Well I kind of sympathise
but I have 6 machines running OpenSuse 11.4, a netbook, a laptop, 2 workstations, a fileserver and a desktop in our holiday home.
I don't have a problem with KDE although like you I'm quite happy with more 'primitve' managers
I don't have a problem with sleep mode
I have two printers - a Samsung laser and and Epson scanner/copier/inkjet which both work perfectly and network nicely from the fileserver.
I do agree about GIMP but I often process RAW photos with showFoto
I don't use Windows at all and expect to do everything I want in Linux - these days I find this quite easy.
Incidently I'm thinking of building a compute server to offload a lot of intensive scientific calculations & modeling and also for the transcoding/rendering of 1080/50p video