Yeah, the problem with updating in regards to 10.1 was because, during Beta releases, the SUSE Developers decided to incoporate a new updating solution which combines the benefits of two older solutions. Unfortunately, this new solution has caused nothing but utter trouble for all. I suggest you search the web to acquire updates via alternative means. (They won't kill your SUSE install, but its much better than the default one!). Looking back, they (Devs of SUSE), shouldn't have changed anything major like this, when 10.1 was in Beta. They should have added the new update app in 10.2 Alpha. Now 10.1 has a tarnished reputation because they put something in, at the last minute.
In your article you mentioned as to why they don't have Nvidia drivers there by default...I'm curious too. This is a commercial solution, and I would've expected it to be bundled. Then again, the GPL license (assuming that's what its under) seems to be incompatible to the Nvidia driver. (Although its debatable, as no one has offered any straight answer about this. When you ask Nvidia, they don't seem to mind, as their license allows for it).
In regards to Xgl/Compiz, I find it as an experimental toy, at best (its Novell's answer to counter Windows Vista's Aero eyecandy). Its not for production use, as you will realise it starts to cause issues with some OpenGL and video playback apps. Fedora folks didn't like this approach, as it was developed behind closed doors at Novell (but released as GPL), so they decided to do their own, called AIGLX. Apparently, Nvidia likes Fedora's approach and they have indicated to better support that in the future. (Currently, there's very limited support for AIGLX). Both technologies are pretty much testbeds for a future unified solution called xeglx (or something like that).
For my typical Linux desktop, I get VMware Server (its free) and install Win2k as a guest OS. That way, I can do anything I want (except for 3D accelerated games), without worrying about re-installing an entire system. You can roll-back a damaged or infected virtual Windows install in minutes!
This is a screenshot of OpenSUSE 10.1 with VMware Server Release Candidate 1 (Ver 1.0 has recently been released about a day ago), running Win2k Pro SP4, playing the 10yr old game, Command and Conquer: Red Alert!
Remember, Red Alert is primarily a 2D accelerated game. It calls for DirectDraw (part of DirectX7). The VMware tools does NOT offer 3D acceleration (its extremely limited at best), due to the complexities of mapping a virtual video card memory to a REAL one. (no virtualisation app currently offers 3D Acceleration...But its a future goal to achieve).
So yes, I use OpenSUSE 10.1, but as a stable basis for Windows to sit on. (as well as learning to write programs and such). If you want to do the same with VMware, I suggest you get lots of RAM. (1GB minimum, as 512MB is really pushing it)...Typically, the more the merrier.
If you want to give VMware Server (free) a shot, I've created a reasonably useful guide on how to install it in OpenSUSE 10.1 (as well as how to get Red Alert going without trouble).
I just love virtualization!