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> I could export each sub-dir and then mount each
> sub-dir so that I don't step on the dot files.  I
> might not need to do that for all sub-dirs, so
> maybe just a few, like /home/ja/bin,
> /home/ja/temp, /home/ja/etc, and so forth.

This is a possibility, but the number of "dot" files in
your home directory /home/ja that are affected is
probably fairly controllable.  X, KDE, etc. all have
ways to support the kind of functionality you are
trying to achieve.

To summarize, you are looking for a way to run
X (and ?KDE?/?Gnome?/what else?) more than
once on different machines sharing the same 
home directory (with configuration, temporary,
etc. files) such that there are no file conflicts 
between the different instances.  You're looking
for file conflicts only in your home directory.

> Is this the way that most people do it?  Is there
> a better way?

I think you'll get some good answers here...but perhaps
you have some better ideas to help you google.

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