I'm going to begin with a disclaimer: I know this post will be aggregated on the ubuntu-uk planet. This is not a swipe at ubuntu - I love ubuntu. The guys at ubuntu-uk are great, I get on really well with them, and this post doesn't suggest ubuntu is an inferior operating system.
Right, now that's out of the way...
After reading a post by Zeth on commandline.org.uk I was reignited with enthusiasm for giving Gentoo another run on my main Desktop PC at home. I first installed Gentoo as my main operating system when I first started learning linux and after grappling with it for a couple of months had to admit defeat after I had done an "emerge -uD --newuse world" command with "ACCEPT_KEYWORDS=~x86_64" in my /etc/make.conf. Needless to say, I've learnt alot since then (about myself, linux in general, and other distros) and since reading the aforementioned blog, decided to give Gentoo a go again myself.
Fear not, my brown (and blue) friends over at (k)ubuntu - I have now opted to go for a dual-boot setup, so still have access to my very creative ubuntustudio installation. That's something that deserves it's own review - and I'll be putting one out near the release of the Gutsy Gibbon. So once I had decided this, I got on with the installation.
I remember using the graphical installer a few months back, for another system - and it failed badly - so this time I did it the 'proper way;' using the Gentoo Handbook. It's a really good way to learn exactly how all the bits of linux fit together 'under the hood' as it were. It'd not something for the casual IT user - but if you're going to do _anything_ in IT - I'd recommend it. Anyway - you can read the handbook yourself, so I won't go through the installation - it's boring.. and time consuming (and moreso to repeat it verbatim).
The one thing I liked was that I didn't spend hours grappling with X - it loaded right after gnome had been emerged - and to my surprise (due to my own excellent choices of kernel parameters) had nvidia working with hardware acceleration from the off. Fantastic - a couple of hours later I had the whole system loaded how I liked - with autohinter enabled so my fonts are lovely and smooth - a nice 'stable' version (or as close to stable as possible) of Beryl running my desktop. All my music library symlinked from my ubuntu partition and hardware detection working a treat. I just need to enable my subversion repos (two minute job) and then I'm ready for work. (Oh, and I got vmware-player working so that I can run my WinXP image for commercial support). Neat.
I wouldn't have dreamed of getting all this done in a day before - fantastic! I got help along the way in the #gentoo IRC channel (though beware of staying on-topic). It's more a case of phrasing your questions so that your blaming gentoo for the problems. If they feel like you're dissing gentoo - they're more likely to tell you what the real problem is - and from that the solution becomes identifiable.
I'm still using ubuntustudio for play stuff though, and ubuntu on my laptop (and ubuntu on my two servers) so guys - I haven't really left you. I've just spread my wings to fly again. I'd read Zeth's post if you really want to comprehend my inspiration... his analogy just fits.