Yea.. I went ahead and did a slackware install. I love it's simplicity in terms of layout
And it was pretty easy to patch a 2.6.13 kernel with most gentoo patches and then enable SMP so, so far so good :P
I think I'll make a different thread at hardware though. As I just can't get that darn ATI Rage XL to work with a 1024x768 framebuffer resolution (with a minimum of 200-256 colours)
Oh and about the gentoo thing. Well I'd say that I wouldn't recommend just anybody doing it since it does require at least some basic conception of what linux and the programs needed are. Apart from that, you're absolutely right
The manual does a great job.