Here's the ones I've tried so far:
Two different versions of Knoppix Live CDs - They seem to have changed desktops from one to the next, the old desktop was better if you ask me. Neither version seemed to know how to see SATA drives.
Slackware (with xfce desktop) - This one's not too bad, other than needing to use su for every other thing - like shutting down, reading flash drives (or extra hard drives), and a number of other little things besides. And I can't seem to get sudo to work at all.
Xubuntu (11.10) Live CD - I like that you don't need to use su for everything - flash drives and external drives JUST WORK, and the "software center" thing is almost sort of nifty. I actually had to use it just to make playing MP3s work, otherwise all the media players just sit there ignoring them. Supposedly even then most DVDs won't play, although I didn't test that to see. Still couldn't figure out how to make XMMS work (it kept pushing some command-line-only version with a bunch of sucky frontends). And I couldn't figure out how to move the task bar to the bottom like I did on Slackware/xfce, let alone turn that stupid dock thing tnto a quickstart menu like Slackware/xfce had. (Although I did at least manage to add the little "shade window" thing back to the top of each window...)
Anyone else have any good suggestions, especially ones based on what I've tried so far? I'm thinking maybe I might try one I heard of called CrunchBang, unless someone else has any better suggestions?