RESOLUTION: I never did truly solve this problem, nor identify its root cause, but I managed to work around it by forcibly reinstalling both KWin and QTCurve. Original post below for the benefit of posterity...
I'm experiencing still more weirdness with KDE in MX-16.1
Twice in the last two days, an otherwise unremarkable attempt to log in to KDE has brought up an environment where the title bar and window decorations are absent, and the mouse and keyboard are only partially responsive.
What I've tried so far leaves me to think that the problem is in KDE itself, rather than a user configuration error. All user accounts (including root, and including a test user account created specifically for diagnostic purposes) are affected by the issue. Changing the windec and/or theme engine in system settings has no effect.
Restarting the machine doesn't help.
I don't think it's a hardware problem. Neither IceWM nor Xfce has any issue at all.
I eventually resorted to restoring my system partition from a backup. As long as I was clobbering the partition in question anyway, I went ahead and did two zero-fill runs on the HDD. SMART short test reports no issues with reallocated sectors.
Restoring from a recent backup made the problem go away, but 24 hours later it's now reappeared. The only thing that I can think of that I did in the interim was a routine dist-upgrade. (Just to be clear: I'm not claiming that the upgrade is the cause of the problem; it's just that a fully/freshly upgraded system is the only commonality that I can identify between the two instances of the problem.)
I'm stumped. I'm frustrated. I realize that KDE is not MX's focus, but I'm at a point where I'm ready to restart my search for a new distro to call home.
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