Surprising that someone building his own distro from scratch, would be a Corel linux user. Hope that Corel linux was not has buggy as Corel Draw.
Anyhow, I've done the same sort of thing you're describing- made my own distribution for embedded purposes on several occasions in the past. Some for x86, some for MIPS.
Heh... So your first distribution was Corel Linux... Not too shabby for a start.
debian 0.93r6 in may of 96 or 97 i cant remember, now i'm using ubuntu.
SuSe 10.0 for about 30 minutes, until I discovered rpm and dumped the damn thing :D
While going through my old CDs I found the actual copy of the first distro I mentioned in an earlier post... it was Red Hat 7.1, and the version I bought actually came with a Loki CD that had trial versions of many of their games (which was by far the coolest thing I can remember from that distro).
first one i tried was SUSE 9.1, so i started playing with linux just after kernel 2.6 arrived on the scene.
tried every SUSE since then and i thin its great.
i currently use a SUSE 10.1 laptop for work.
also played around with Ubuntu/Kubuntu, mandriva and a few others.
also played around with Sabayon a fair bit.