Grr....i was 1/2 way through typing my reply till firefox just died on me? wtf?
so i am gonna make this 2nd edition short because i am lazy. need to do more whoring around to keep my status.
nvidia.com download install restart x enjoy. easy enough
alsaconf to make sure it finds your module
alsamixer to make sure its not muted
if all else fail, compile your module / recompile the kernel
to hate fedora:
i tried them all, from FC to FC4 and all have failed in more than one way, thats why i ditched them and moved on. So yeah, i hate em pretty much. yet knowing me i'll probably try FC5 when it comes out.
Ubuntu - i've been recommeding this distro a lot, because i've been using it before it became cool (since Warty Warthog). Technically speaking, it either works, or it doesn't. Like it fails on my desktop, but runs wonderfully on my lappy, other people reported similar success. No i am not saying its a flawless distro even if it runs, it has its problems (seeing as it is in only its 3rd major release) but hey... its still more solid than the 3rd major release of windows (ugh....95?). One thing to note for ubuntu, because they compile it in i386 with most number of modules, it is quite a bit slower than the others.
Mandrake - yes, i will recommend mandrake, but not Suse because Mandrake (in its pure form, or clone) actually gets the job done. Why else? because its fast. M2006 has probably had the fastest boot times since Gentoo for me, i like that. Also it just gets stuff done, and generally hardware works.
PCLinuxOS - the os i am using now, in fact i recommend this even more than Mandrake (even though it is based off mandrake). You still get all the perks of Mandrake, but without the crap, and with better hardware support. Out of the box PCLOS made EVERYTHING (except power management...which was easy to set up) work. This is probably my 1st pick at this point. One suggestion though, becuase the kernel is quite chunky on this distro, rebuild it for your own good (i did it and now its faster and leaner than ever). Another great benefit of this distro is that its a LiveCD, so you can check it out, run it, play with it and make sure you like it BEFORE you install it, which is always nice.
Onebase - this is my final recommendation. First I'll get the flaws out of the way. Although it gives you an option between KDE and Gnome, go KDE because Gnome is corrupt at this point. Secondly, because its a netinstall this is important, I am yet to install this distro once where there wasn't an MD5SUM error, so be careful on the install. Now for the benefits. First of all, OLM is the greatest tool since jesus. OLM is a collection of scripts that does everything, as well as its the package manager for the distro..its fantastic. And oh yeah, it also comes with a browser based PHP interface for OLM and your system settings (vs your bloaded old Control Center like Yast). Its just amazing, you gotta try it. Furthermore, this distro is binary AND source. You have an option which way you wanna go. Binary for a fast install, or Source for even greater speed (and even in binary this distro is fast). But yeah...also requires some post-install work, but its regular thing for linux.