A little progress: I stepped through Mageia's nicely produced "Welcome to Mageia" wizard, and appreciated that it was offered to new users. In my case, there was nothing more that needed doing, as the available options (update, etc.) had already been offered and exercised during the installation process, and I was using a familiar DE.
To make the configuration process more convenient, I created 5 workspaces and edited the bottom panel to center them. I knew I'd want to edit such things as .bashrc and /etc/fstab, so I used dnf to install the micro editor - an excellent CLI tool. I installed my bashrcAdditions file, to make some of my bash macros available.
My typical configuration for a distro I'm exploring includes email and a browser, and providing access to the shares on my NAS, where most of my file storage exists. I've used kmail in the past, and didn't much care for the experience, so normally I'd install Thunderbird. It's familiar, and so easy to configure an account or two. This time, however, I think I'll just install Vivaldi (which I'm inclined to do anyway), and enable Vivaldi Mail.
I noted that Mageia enabled only 29 unit files upon startup. That's lots more than Solus, of course, but on the low side among other distros I've explored. Commensurately, startup and shutdown are fairly quick.
Next, I'll edit /etc/fstab to list my NAS shares, and mount them all in /mnt. More later...