It took me awhile to figure out how to get gnome installed and running but I did. It wasn’t too hard looking back at it. There’s a lot of nice things to help you out, like Fink and the graphical FinkCommander. Here’s a guide to help get the the x11 system running with Fink. I guess the key for me is to read some documentation, i can’t just dive into things and expect to know what i’m doing. All in all, my system is doing some neat things: running OS X, with Virtual PC running WinXP and XDarwin running GNOME.
I ran into some file permission crap when I was doing all of this. I found a nice little calculator to help out with chmod values.