I beg to differ with the Mepis / Knoppix comparison. I've run both on my Compaq laptop and on my workstation and, in both situations Knoppix was clearly the winner. Knoppix recognized all important components and configured monitor and screens perfectly. Mepis gave me a useable screen in the wrong resolution at (arg) 60hz, and, a frozen mouse. For me, the non-functional mouse is a 'fatal' flaw in a bootable CD release.
In a HD install with each of the CDs the results were similar. Mepis flaws were correctable and it can be made into a nice desktop, but overall, Knoppix looks to be about 6 months ahead in development. That could change, but for right now, Knoppix is the clear hands down winner.
Whichever of these CDs you start with, you are given the ability to construct a Debian desktop without the time and effort that it normally takes to install Debian and, that is no small gift.
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