Brickwizard,Ok Rick now your happy with your choice of Lappy, I will go back to your original question
[These are my personal opinions to your questions]
1] NO. as all Linux distributions are based on the Linux core, in most cases what will work for Debian will also work for Fedora/Slackware/Puppy, or any of the other 500 or so desktop builds.
2] With all equipment age plays a part, the newest machines may not have Linux drivers available for cutting edge new components, unless the component manufacturers supply non-free Linux drivers, then it can take up to 9 months for the boys and girls of the Kernel teams, to back engineer, test and release Linux FOSS drivers
3] Dell do make some linux drivers available on their site, but I can say that I have never used them, 90% of the drivers you will need with Linux are already in the Kernel driver source package or available in additional driver packs or safe 3rd party repositories.
4] Kali is not as user-friendly or as simple to install as some other Pen-testing distributions, and support on their web forum is lacking to say the least, if you look back at the questions asked over the last 6 months, you will see that around 20% only get a reply [this goes back to their attitude that anyone who wants to use Kali should be experienced enough to find & install any missing drivers or new applications they need without help.
The distribution I am gate-keeper and Janitor for [ otherwise known as Moderator ] will answer a much higher percentage of questions, But in line with all other Pen-testing distributions we do expect you to have sufficient working knowledge of Linux, you ask a question, and we may tell you what is wrong or guide you as to how and where to find a fix, BUT we do not hold your hand .
Thank you for the extensive answers. The ROT on turn around times is good info and I will seek out the repositories when it comes time to seek out drivers.
My sights have always been set on a deep understanding Linux and all the Distros, but life has always gotten in the way. As an empty nester now I’m hoping to finally get more traction.
It is sometimes hard on forums to get enough acceptance to get these serious well thought out answers so I thank you once again!