I was thinking of trying the PC-BSD version 9.1 beta. Digging through a pile of hard drives looking for space, I found a set of drives for the FreeBSD 7.3 setup that once was the EBN, and a single drive that turned out to boot into FreeBSD 8.1-PRE with KDE 4.4.4. I think it was a workstation setup I used for only a little while amidst experiments with ZFS and OpenSolaris compatibility. In any case, I ended up in a KDE from two years ago. Funny, thinks I, not a whole lot has changed in the set-up of my desktop (I still stick to the default panel at the bottom, desktop pager, taskbar, system tray thingie, no activities). Nor has much changed in the superficial appearance or behavior of the apps I tend to use, Blogilo, Konsole, KMail, Konqueror (although there are some systematic crashes, but those aren't worth talking about before I've updated the system to FreeBSD 8.3 and KDE 4.8.4 -- there's a fairly short KDE 4.4.4 buglist available which I guess I'll try to confirm before updating KDE, though).

So everything old is, if not new again, at least familiar.