I've been a PalmOS user for 14 years and a PCLOS-only user for over 3 years. Ever since Palm moved off of serial connections to USB, connecting has been problematic. I am currently connecting with jpilot (I'm using v.1.6.2) from the repositories; you also need to install the pilot-link package which is often missing from jpilot dependencies - install this first. In the jpilot preferences, be sure to select the PalmOS >5.2 options; otherwise you will connect without transferring the data (a frustrating waste of time).
I can't help with kpilot; I've never been able to get it to work.