Compared to Linux, the FreeBSD OS is (in theory) more friendly to binary software distribution because the platform is less volatile in it's direction than Linux, and not fragmented into many distros. Also, Linux and it's environment is mostly GNU/GPL licensed, which nearly precludes the sale and distribution of software in binary form (only). (Don't get me started
SUNOS (Somewhat similar to FreeBSD) apps are binary distro friendly, for the same reason as FreeBSD. (In fact, most SUN apps are distributed in binary form). In practice, the FreeBSD applications are distributed as source, with a few exceptions wherein the binaries are distributed by the vendor directly. (Opera Software, for instance). This may have to do with the fact that FreeBSD has always been the domain of the NIX gurus. However; you don't have to be a NIX guru to use the ports system. It is almost as easy to install via the ports system as it is to install software binaries with an installation script.
For example, let us say that you wish to install the emulated Linux-Mozilla browser for the internet.
1) Go to /usr/ports/www/linux-mozilla
Or just type:
make install clean
3) Watch it compile and install itself.
4) Start your x-windows environment
5) Run /usr/local/bin/linux-mozilla
FreeBSD is fantastic! Just dive into it, and little by little, you will accumulate know-how that enables you to look for and accumulate more know-how, in a synergistic fashion.
The CVS thing is a little more complicated (do that on day 2). But, to get started, just try a few port builds -- very easy. (CVS is just a mechanism to keep your ports tree up-to-date). Generally, on a new ISO installation, your ports tree will already be mostly up-to-date.