I'm actually with newtor on this one. Yes, we've had people who gave up without really trying. Jim/irritated isn't one of them.
What he has experienced with VL I've seen with the major distros on some older equipment as well. When someone sticks with us it does allow the devs to correct problems eventually. OTOH, most people actually need to have their systems working within a reasonable period of time.
I appreciated seeing Newtor's and Caitlyn's posts as, apparently, I'm in the same boat as Irritated.
A few years ago, I purchased a variety of disks from a third party, some live. I was less than impressed with Ubantu. Was happy that Puppy or DSL allowed me to salvage some files from NTFS but was otherwise wondering how to use any of these systems. And I wasn't going to break working Windows to install any of them.
Last Fall, with several of my Windows machines crashing and refusing to work after re-installation, and WinXP and later showing me nothing worth paying for, I finally tried VL4-Live. Appreciated that it was Slack-based (I had been playing with that off and on since about Slack 3) and liked it enough that I DL'd VL5.9.
I've spent the last six months trying to get it to work on two of my PC's with multiple re-installs of both 5.9 and 6.0 with the result that, after finding and installing applications that I thought would do what I wanted, I'd lose them before I could find out. And, more than once, lost all my notes about learning to use Linux as well as what did and did not work. (It is different even from DOS and CP/M which share a common heritage.)
One thing that kept me going all winter was this forum. You all do an outstanding job, even with dummies like me. (I didn't pick this screen name lightly!) It does hurt, though, when I reply with the results from suggestions, that there is no response back. Even a note saying "We can't help you any further on this." would at least let me know that I haven't fallen into the bit bucket.
With Spring here, I will be able to devote less time to computing and will have to make do the systems as they are now.