The past few months a bunch of very cool CentOS community members (and I am not including myself here) spend their time creating kernel modules for the stock RHEL5 2.6.18 kernel to extend hardware support. The result is now known as: ELRepo
What does it mean ?
It means that if you have problems to get specific hardware working on RHEL5, CentOS-5 or Scientific Linux 5, you can visit http://elrepo.org/ and download kmod packages for your hardware.
It effectively means that with recent hardware (laptops, desktops), you have a high chance that you can run an Enterprise Linux distribution to get recent sound hardware, webcams, dvb-t, file systems drivers and others, to work with no fuss.