Actually, Puppy is the single most reliable distro at x86 hardware detection and configuration, in my experience, and it's damn easy to install. (There's not any amd64 official releases, but it can be done, too- look up Fatdog64 and LighthousePup. ARM is a work-in-progress.) The default file manager and pinboard (like a desktop, but shortcuts only- no files on the desktop), ROX, takes some getting used to, but there is an XFCE release, too, and LXDE, KDE (3 & 4), and other DEs available. In-built remastering tool, too, so you just change up what you want, click a button, and get a new ISO you can share. For more extensive customization, it has a build system called WOOF that can get one up and running from scratch, and can compile the binaries to be standalone-Puppy (uses a T2 build system) or to be binary-compatible with the likes of Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware, etc. (Compatibility for Arch is in development.)
The drawbacks are that Puppy flagrantly breaks Linux/unix/POSIX conventions all over the place, and stubbornly runs as a single-user system, logging in and starting X as root automatically. So, don't put a public-facing server on top of Puppy, but it's fine for personal systems.
Most helpful people I've ever dealt with on an OS's forums, though. They'd be all-in to assist if you asked for it. Might take a week for them to read it, but they'd probably step right up!