I’m not the kind of person who likes to get the most speed from his hard-drive and whatnot. When I switched to Gentoo, it wasn’t for the speed. It was for the ability to upgrade to whatever version I wanted, SVN or latest stable, and not have to deal with compiles that failed or package systems that didn’t install correctly because I had compiled something it didn’t like. In fact, whenever someone on the #ubuntu support channel talks about some software or other that required compiling and running “make install”, I almost immediately say that “make install” can cause issues. (ndiswrapper is an exception – Ubuntu’s copy is outdated in the extreme, and the compiled version slips right in, with no problems now or in the long term.)
So, here I am, happily checking out BZFlag SVN and so on and such forth and etc., and I realize (as I boot my newly-compiled copy of Eclipse) that Gentoo really does blaze through this stuff like no other OS I’ve tried.
Needless to say, I’m as happy as could be in Gentoo, with a full desktop at my commmand, and the ability to customize to whatever I want it to be.
(P.S. Gentoo is not for the faint of heart: you build your system from near-scratch. If you don’t know what “ln” and “fdisk” are, you should use the beautifully-prepackaged Ubuntu.)