So, last night, before going to bed, I made a wish to emerge. "Emerge," I said, "I would really like to try out the xorg-X11 package". And emerge replied with a stream of gobbledygook that means "okay, I'm working on it". Now, some 9 hours later, emerge tells me "it's done! look what I have for you", then "run etc-update", (well, it actually tells me to look in the docs, which I know tell me to run etc-update).
Running etc-update is the Gentoo equivalent of ripping off the wrapping paper, it updates your /etc (configuration) directory with the new files from the updated packages.
Having etc-updated, I typed startx, then remembered to log out of root, then typed startx again, and KDE started without a hitch. To be clear, KDE was "hitching" all over the place before I started this, the upgrade/switch apparently fixed the mime-type problems I was having.
Okay, have work to do, so must get back to Windows-land.
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