This did the trick. Nautilus was running. Thanks!
> I can start HAL, but is there something else that should be
> Is there a quick-list of commands to get this *right*? Should they be
> on that wiki page?
I believe it has something to do with nautilus being active (KDE
restores it at every session). After logging in to KDE, try "ps aux" and
if nautilus (or some other suspicious gnome thing) is running, kill it.
Everything should be normal next time you log in.