Coming from Gentoo/FreeBSD way back when, I expected a fair amount of tinkering with Arch on my T530 and maybe that is the reason why a few breakages here and quirks there don't bother me. I have yet to come across an issue that the wiki nor the forum gurus could not help solve.
I'm typing this on a T400 running Linux Mint. It's pretty and very simple to use but it isn't as "fun" as Arch. I've even solidified my commitment to Arch with the purchase of an Arch coffee mug: see, now I have to use it.
Give Deep Freeze a try. It may not be a 100% match for your issue but it does wonders on public computers.
Set up the PC, install apps and customize it. Once the PC is ready to go, install Deep Freeze.
Use whatever browser you want. Install whatever you want. Get a virus or really mess things up. Reboot and it's back to square one.
It also has the ability to set folders aside that are not frozen. You can store pictures and other documents in that as the changes to those folders are immune to the freeze.
I'm just a satisfied user: I have nothing to do with the developers. I only have to check on the public workstations if there are hardware issues or major updates to browsers or other apps. It sure beats reinstalling those public workstations every few months because of caked on spyware and viruses.