With Wacom 8.2 I knew where I stood. HAL sort of worked, but only recognized a single device (the stylus) and if I wanted to use anything else, I was just out of luck.
When I got my Intuos 4, I had to move to the 8.3 beta drivers, because 8.2 doesn’t know about the new tablet. I was thrilled to find that HAL recognized all four devices right away. Unfortunately, it names the devices the wrong thing, so the Wacom utilities can’t recognize them. That was soluble with some HAL modifications via script, and all was good again.
Then something changed in HAL (I think?) and my HAL definitions for the Wacom went away. I put them back, but it is attaching Mouse2 to my stylus anyway. No good.
I think I’m just going to switch back to using the Xorg.conf method, and try HAL again under 9.10 or something.