Now, it's just a matter of having some free time to do the upgrade. I feel pretty good going forward with it. I had contemplated just buying a new drive and installing to that. But I think I can do the upgrade and get things up and running. If worse does come to worse, I have files backed up. I back up all my art, etc all the time.
If Dolphin continues to be temperamental, I'll have to do the upgrade. I'll have no choice.
For what it's worth, I really didn't want to install the 2010/KDE4 version of PCLinuxOS either. Being an administrator on the forum I thought it my duty to do the installation, in order to properly be able to offer help, so with much reluctance I installed the MiniMe version, then added the applications I normally use. Originally I had nothing but problems, but as soon as I upgraded to a 2.6.33 kernel all the problems disappeared.
I don't usually get into a lot of eye candy stuff, so I left the default desktop pretty much as installed. I added a thin panel to the top of the screen, and put the task bar on it to make more room on the main panel for my 20 desktops and a Quick Launcher. I haven't even changed the desktop wallpaper. Much to my surprise, I've had very little in the way of problems, and it's been a couple of months since I've logged into any of my KDE3 desktops. KDE4 really has reached the stage of being a very usable desktop, and is very stable in this configuration. I've made some of my own launchers for the desktop, and turned off all auto launchers, as my 40+ partitions make a mess of the desktop with the auto launchers turned on. All in all, at this stage it's hard to tell the difference between my KDE3 and KDE4 desktops, and pretty much all I do can, in fact, be done without issues from KDE4. It's come a long way recently and Texstar's touch has made it quite nice, and pleasant to use. That's a very different personal view from that which I expressed immediately after the initial installation.
You'll do fine with the new installation. I'm very sure of that. If it can make a believer of me...