slackware is too much of a hassle....
It can be if you don't know feel comfy with CLI.
but it wont support my trackball (PS2 or USB) so im gonna go buy a cheep-o mouse
Whoa, I'm guessing you might not need to do that. Post your xf86config or xorg.conf (not sure what mandrake uses) and we'll have a looksee. No need to be dropping money on hardware just yet. I'm sure if you do a google search you may find some insight on how to get your cuurrent trackball working. I'm guessing it's a protocol/driver specification problem in your X config file.