I just came off of vacation, and I noted the new kernel, and I am asking myself the same question.
I note a couple of users with Intel 5300 (or 5100) AGN wireless cards (which is same as in my laptop) complaining their wireless no longer works consistently. They both updated to the new kernel and experienced the problem, although they may also have experienced their wireless problem before their update. Its not clear to me but I confess I’m not going to quickly update my laptop to this new 11.3 kernel until I get a better handle on things. I note in 11.2 a kernel update broke the wireless in same laptop with the Intel 5100/5300 AGN hardware, and that was never fixed (and it sets a precedent in my mind for kernel updates causing problems).
I note the new kernel has broken the functionality of the ATI Catalyst proprietary graphic driver in openSUSE-11.3. This is especially annoying for ATI users, as the latest 10.9 Catalyst only now finally started to work reasonably well with openSUSE-11.3. To have the driver broken only days after it finally being updated to work, must be incredibly frustrating. My laptop noted above, with the Intel 5300 AGN wireless, also has ATI radeon HD3450 graphics. I’ve been using this laptop extensively for the past 3 weeks when on vacation, and I note the ‘stock’ radeon graphics has minor artifact problems. An update to the latest ATI proprietary Catalyst graphic driver (with the older 2.6.34-12 kernel) has as near as I can tell, addressed most of the problems experienced with the older Catalyst, and also with the Radeon driver. I’m faced with that driver not working if I update the kernel.
So I’m not about to update the kernel in that laptop.
I updated my sandbox PC (running LXDE) to the 188.8.131.52 kernel and it works fine. It has a wired connection to the web, and has nVidia graphics (FX5200). I plan to update both my backup PC (with nVidia graphics (8400GS)) to 184.108.40.206 and my wife’s PC (with legacy ATI hardware) to 220.127.116.11.
My current view is users with new (non legacy) ATI hardware should be cautious and not rush to update to the 18.104.22.168 until they learn more. There may be a patch to the proprietary driver, but as one who has not looked into this in detail, I found the simple instructions as to how the patch can be applied to be rather confusing. I also have the view that user’s who have a suspicion that their wireless may be broken by an update should also be careful in updating (and I have no solid evidence this is the case, only a forum thread by users who insist the 5100/5300 AGN wireless is broken, even though same hardware works on my laptop - but I’m cautions).
Users with wired Internet connection, and nVidia (and likely Intel) graphics should have no worries about updating the kernel. They may need to rebuild their proprietary nVidia graphic driver
I think after I have had time to read the various threads in our forum, I may not be so cautious about the kernel update and endorse it fully, but at this time I’m being careful.