After a few years running Arch, most recently with a tiling window manager Awesome, I've decided that it is time to move on. Not because there is anything wrong with Arch but because the constant updates are beginning to wear on me I'm getting lazy in my old age and the tools I use are mature products not prone to sudden changes or dramatic improvements.
There are only a couple of viable options moving away from Arch. I can go with a Debian based or a Fedora based distro and I want to avoid anything two levels down. For example; Mint is based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian. To my thinking this only adds a layer of complexity and package management confusion, it's generally just DE themeing and I'm going to rip most of it out anyway. Why even add the repos?
I've ruled out niche distros, as cool as they might be. NixOS appeals to me in terms of stability and the tidiness of the whole thing. That one config file is a game changer. But, I don't need that kind of stability and do like to evaluate new software -- this is possible with Nix but there are too many hoops to jump through and a legit learning curve.
Since Fedora is the devil, I'm pretty much in Debian land.
Ubuntu's out, I don't like Snapd or Canonical. Mint and PopOS! are Ubuntu based and since I plan on using a window manager the Cinnamon and Cosmic desktops don't matter to me. As I mentioned, I'm lazy and would rather not build something from the ground up, some sensible defaults and basic packages would be nice and I'd like to be able to select them from an installer. [SparkyLinux](https://sparkylinux.org/) seems to fit the bill nicely.
Update, hours later: It did not fit the bill and I couldn't even install it in a VM. Mainline Debian it is. More to follow a day or two.