I couldn't help it; I downloaded the fourth alpha of Mepis 11.
It has several changes. Now the wallpaper looks like this:
MEPIS UNDERWATER! :P
It picked my wired connection right from the start!
Also, Firefox works well. No problems browsing.
It certainly is faster compared to Mepis 8.5 on my old desktop box, which by the way does not allow pretty effects regardless of the distro I use.
In general, Mepis 11 looks really good. One easily forgets it is an alpha!
It seems I was the very first person to report a sound-related problem: ALSA does not work on this big old box...Well, this is an alpha. I am pretty positive things will get solved in time.
Oh, I do miss OpenOffice Calc, which does not come in the live DVD. I hope the full office suite may be included when Mepis 11 is released. Since it went way above the 800 MB limit anyway, I don't find any reason not to include Calc right now.
I will test Mepis 11 on my little netbook later...