Most likely something is messed in the ~/.kde4 configurations. easiest way to test this is to create a new user and log in as them. If this works the easiest way to correct the problem for the affected user is to rename the ~/.kde4 directory to ~/.kde4.old for that user. Note you will lose all your desktop settings. You can recover any data for KDE apps like kmail from the old directory. ~/kde4/app
I have the same problem with an eee 901. OpenSuSE worked wonderfully. When I installed updates today and rebooted, I get the same issues you describe: the system boots normally; it prompts me to give the password for the default key manager (or whatever that thing is called) in Gnome and for the wallet in KDE. When it tries to connect to my wireless router, the system freezes and doesn’t react to any input, I have to kepp the power button pushed to shut it off. I have both Gnome and KDE4 installed and get exactly the same issues in both so it’s definitely not something with a messed up config in a user directory, it must be a deeper problem. Really bad - I told everybody how perfect SuSE is for the eee, and now it is completely borked!
Going back to kernel 2.6.31-5 has solved the issue for me too. Has a bug report been opened for this? Knurpht, you mentioned that many users appear to have problems with wireless after the last kernel updates, do you know if the developers are aware of this?
I have the same hardware and noticed the latest kernel has broken the wifi drivers. I was able to downgrade to the precious kernel to get the wireless working again. Everything works great with kernel 22.214.171.124-0.1 but when I install the kernel 126.96.36.199 it renames my wireless interface to wlan0, under the previous kernel it was named ra0. The symtoms I had were the same as yours (System freezes do to auto connect option in network manager) once I disabled the network manager I was able to work with the eth0 interface with no problems. I then found a thread here at the opensuse forums that had similar complaints and found a suggestion to downgrade to the previous kernel, I tried that and it works for me.
BTW: To downgrade your kernel use yast>Software management>Search for “kernel” then select the kernel in the upper right side. Now click the “Version” tab and select the previous kernel. When finished in yast reboot your machine.