Well, I'm now down to the last two weeks until my deadline, daemons STILL aren't compiling right, SCSI drives go to sleep and don't wake up without reboots, hardware that SAYS it's Linux-compatible are ultimately are found to be not so, and I still have yet to configure the things that have installed properly.
The most significant thing I've done, beyond kernel compiles, is eliminating that damn screen-blanking that's enabled by default in Slackware.
If I added up the hours I've put into this, at my standard $45/hr rate, that's THOUSANDS of dollars put into two servers, one a used $99 server with $100 worth of hard drives in it, the other a frankenstein of spare parts from my closet, including several parts which have come from Macs (one of this is NOT a storage device). Interestingly, the Mac parts work better than I could have imagined; they have had no incompatibility issues.
Yes, I'm a geek -- a BIG geek. Unfortunately, amongst all the other time-consuming things going on in my life, I've been working on two computers for waaayyyyy beyond my usual tolerance for non-working equipment. It frustrates me.