If my assumptions regarding firmware are correct, gNewSense seems like a good distribution choice.
"If" is the operative word here. You have made a host of assumptions about firmware and gNewSense that you have not explained:
So the point of the exercise is which of these?
Neither of these has anything to do with Debian vs gNewSense. This is a question of checking your hardware's support for Linux before buying it, and gNewSense is not helping in any relevant way. A hardware blacklist might help for that - but in the shape of a distro? How is that "the right tool for the right job" or "keep it simple, stupid"?
The question begs to be answered.
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