My OpenSuse 11.3 system is running better now, I updated the x86_64 installation to kernel 2.6.37-rc6 and that was very easy indeed, Ubuntu does not offer the same polished manual kernel installation method that OpenSuse has, you type
to install the kernel modules into /lib, then type
to install the kernel image and System.map to /boot and it even creates the initrd.img initial ramdisk that bootstraps up the Linux system and loads the initial set of drivers needed for the rest of the Linux boot process. it is good that Linux does not need kernel module dependent systems like bootsplash to show a graphical bootsplash to customise the various Linux distributions. I am typing this in Arch Linux 2010 and that just shows a Arch Linux graphic at the top of the screen while the scrolling text is whizzing by underneath and that is enough to brand a distribution, you do not need to go overboard.
I was going to install Gentoo again, but Arch Linux uses binary packages and installing them is faster than installing something from portage which can take a long time unless you have a very fast computer. It is best to just install with binary packages, unless you want to wait a long time for something to install, I mean Gentoo is good, but Arch Linux just has a good feel and I really enjoy using it even though I have not got the Xorg and Gnome packages installed yet. And it can be used in a chroot on your OpenSuse 11.3 desktop to make it easy to use packman to install something you really need, like yasm or nasm, and the essential vim packages, which are better than using vi as I find it hard to use without the vim-common enhancements. I was surprised when I installed the FreeBSD 8.1 DVD that time, that it did not include GNU emacs, making it harder than it had to be to edit files.