Yes, wile reading through the Gentoo handbook I have learned a lot. I think that is what makes installing Gentoo a good thing to do and what also makes it the l33t Linux i.e. once you get a Gentoo sys installed and configured you know quite a bit about Linux
However, I never did install Gentoo... I am now reading quite a bit about Debian. I like it for the same reasons I liked Gentoo... Correct me if I am wrong:
Rolling distro.... No more distro upgrade hell ((I am still using 7.10 because 8.04 has so many problems with my laptop HW))
Custom... only the programs I use and no nvidia driver (( I don't have a nvidia GPU so I don't need it))
Still cool l33t self made Linux system
But with Debian I don't have to compile everything. I still have all the packages and the install seems a bit simpler. I plan to install it with Ubuntu in the shell.
But the best part is no more distro upgrades
I just want my system to work and "Stay" working not brake with the next release. Not that there is anything wrong with Ubuntu. It is a vary good distro and vary simple to use. There are so many laptops and different hardware it is hare to make one OS to run it all out of box