I have knoppix too, recognises all of mine except my ISDN PCI card. It seems that nearly all problems with knoppix are related to the inability to get onto the net.
It boots as standard with the 2.4 kernal (the most stable one) but comes with the 2.6 also which you can use using the boot command.. er.. knoppix26 i believe, its in the boot options (press F2 or F3 for that - full listing in your 'cheatcodes' text file on the disk.
The 'point' of linux, as you so beautifly put it, is to make windows users realise how OS's should've been designed. Sure it is more complex than windows, im not disputing that, and to the average member of the public would be harder to use (mainly because everyone is used to windows, if windows never existed it would be reasonably straightforward as all hardware drivers etc would've been made for linux primarily) no matter what linux claims it is harder to use that windows, but the advanced features of it are so much easier to use than windows, even the command shell. That is genius in a box! when a command doesnt work, it actually tells you in english why. Once you get used to it, you realise just what's been missing in your life and all your windows frustrations are gone, along with windows - out the window
But yes, if the 2.6 kernal doesnt recognise your hardware either then you'll just need to download the linux drivers (from windows) then boot knoppix, and install the drivers, and then save your config (/usr/sbin/saveconfig at a shell, or its in the K menu) and boot knoppix with either "knoppix myconfig=/mnt/auto/floppy" (if you saved to floppy - change floppy for alternate device if necessary) or just do the easier one, "knoppix myconfig=scan" and it will find it for you itself. I expect that should work, although honestly I haven't tried it and I'm still not on the net. But I may give it a go come to think of it (I just though of the idea while reading this topic)