[SOLVED, see second post]
I installed Kile 2.1 after a fresh ubuntu 11.04 installation. When I open the application I am welcomed with a message I've never seen before, saying
The standard tool list needs to be reloaded because of the switch from KDE3 to KDE4. This will overwrite any changes in the tools you have made. Do you want to reload the list now (recommended)?
When I click "Yes", without doing anything visible, it progresses to Tip of the Day startup screen. Even though I uncheck "Show tips on startup", whenever I launch Kile I go through these 2 steps.
When I change the default PDF viewer from okular to evince, if I do not close Kile it works perfect but when I close it and reopen, my default pdfviewer is okular again.
Other than these I cannot find anything irregular about the app and I can build and view my .tex files.