I really don't have time to go into testing right now, but I did anyway.
I put VL 6 on a partition on my 1.33 GHz computer described below. First problem: I couldn't get the CD to boot on this machine. However, it did boot a commercial bootable CD and the VL CD I burned booted on another computer, so I think the problem is that the CD burner on this computer is getting flakier. I'm going to replace it soon.
So, since I couldn't boot from the CD, I tried the install from a Linux hard drive instead. (I have three Linux partitions on this computer--one for 5.9 Standard Deluxe, two for testing releases in development.) The installation from hard drive went fine. However, I was never offered a graphical installer. I had the same text installer as always--which is fine with me, but I wanted to see what the GUI installer is like.
I wanted to put LILO on a floppy disk and my attempts to do this during installation failed. Not having a CD that would boot and not wishing to write to the MBR, I was concerned about how I'd boot into VL 6. I told it not to reboot and to my relief, I got a command prompt. I then formatted a floppy disk after looking up the command on some printed sheets I have. I ran VASM and tried setting up LILO again. This time it worked on the freshly formatted floppy.
I rebooted and continued with setup. I tried to set up the proprietary ATI driver, which I don't think is compatible with my Radeon 9200 card, but it put up an error message that went by too fast to read. I haven't had a chance to see what driver actually is installed. I expected the graphical desktop would fail but it didn't. I'll check xorg.conf tomorrow.
I had no opportunity to choose between Gnome and lxde and had no idea how to start lxde. Typing startx got me into Gnome. I HATE that black wallpaper, hate it, hate it! I don't like dark wallpaper anyway, and this one is the darkest of the dark. I changed it right away. I should also mention that I always use a text login, so I have no idea what a graphical login looks like, nor do I care.
I've never cared for Gnome but am happy to have the libraries available and I won't use Gnome as my desktop environment, but I did look around. One thing that bothered me was that there were bunches of icons on the desktop and all the drives on my computer were mounted--without asking me. I don't want all my drives to be automounted. I did not mount any drives in VASM, so this happened without my knowledge.
I got out of Gnome pretty quickly and tried to start lxde, which I had never seen before. There is a major typo in the home directory .xinitrc file line 27 that returns a command not found if you startx after modifying the default desktop environment in VASM.
I was not impressed with lxde. Bring back XFce!!!! I love XFce and would prefer to have it as the default. As others have said, why the change? XFce is a middle ground between a real lightweight DE and the heavyweights Gnome and KDE. Some apps (Gimp, Gnumeric, AbiWord) use some Gnome libraries, but do we have to have the whole thing--and the default, yet?
I wanted to configure the way the clock displayed in lxde but it wasn't comprehensible to a simple user like me. It used that horrible %something Unix stuff that I don't understand. Why not something a normal person can understand, like we get with XFce? I don't like not having the desktop menu from a desktop right click, as we have in XFce. I could probably live with lxde with a lot of tweaking, but I won't because I'd most certainly install XFce at my earliest opportunity.
Where is a GUI Shutdown option in the desktop environments? All I could find was logout.
I look forward to seeing how the distro develops. I know this is just alpha.