Well...shooting from the hip is indeed an efficient way to shoot oneself in the foot, given the proximity and all!
Upon further reflection, or maybe more appropriately upon further experience, I take back most of what I said about openSUSE and PCLinuxOS being second-best to Pinguy and probably even Ubuntu itself.
With just a little tweaking, and as noted just a little more experience with KDE 4.4 (I believe), I'm really quite impressed with both. They were probably just fine right out of "the box" but they are oh-so-fine now. There are some minor but significant differences in the implementation of KDE in the two distros - Kickoff vs. a custom Main Menu, Widgets, etc., but those very differences constitute genuine choice.
Now, there certainly are differences between Drakconf and YaST, and the other system configuration tools - and thinking about that, if you throw in package management and proprietary codecs/drivers pretty much defines the difference from one distro to another anyway. YaST remains a marvel of system configuration utility, and Drakconf also deserves its high status.
There's a real logic and coherence to both these distros, and while my heart (Hart?) still belongs to GNOME, and while I still believe that Pinguy currently has the best configuration of that DE of all distros I've reviewed, and I've reviewed a bunch of them, I would be perfectly comfortable should I find myself working in either of these KDE distros.
In any event, as an alternative to Ubuntu, and all its re-spins such as Mint and Pinguy, this Mandrake/Mandriva derivative and SuSE descendant are both most worthy distros. If you haven't set up a VM, I can hardly think of a better reason to do so right now, so you can try these out.
Again, the version and customization of the DE, the configuration tools, the proprietary codecs and drivers, and the package management system are virtually all that separates one distro from the next - certainly true of sibling distros but even so of these cousin distros. The same apps will run in all distros, and the same stout Linux heart beats inside along with the GNU skeleton and muscles and the BASH nervous system, so the choice is not only fully legitimate, it's also totally elective.
It just doesn't get any better than that...
p.s. Ouch! Did I just shoot myself in the other foot?
p.p.s. Joe - I'd have to toss my red hat to PCLinuxOS for Rita due to its somewhat simpler look and feel. What I'll have you do next SIG is sit at the console of both the Mighty openSUSE and the Mighty PCLinuxOS and take them for a spin. Your insights and reactions should be most enlightening.