Wow - we were up to the same stuff. I had some problems installing Gentoo yesterday, too - or was it the day before? Been a *long* weekend. Anyway - I was trying to use an old disk I'd burned awhile ago and couldn't get it working. Stuff that was supposed to be on the disk (or chroot environment) wasn't and so on. So I just downloaded the 'Basic x86 Install' from LinuxISO and tried again last night/today. As far as I can tell so far, it went great. Gentoo's extremely weird - not sure how I feel about it yet - but it's interesting. So try another disk, maybe. Some of the instructions I was reading off the first one were outright wrong, and there were differences in the install process with the newer one. It's a lot of effort, concentration, time, etc., but not too bad, really.
Or just go with Slack.
(Funny as hell, though - I finished the main install and rebooted. So there I am unable to find links and so I figure, well, 'emerge w3m' - and the entire XFree86 and then some came with it. What the hell's a console browser got to do with X? But once you get Gentoo up it's so easy to install stuff you can do it by accident.