I've been a die hard Debian user for a while but since installing Sourcemage I haven't even booted Debian once. The "casting" of spells is incredible- it resolves dependencies like nobody's business. It even has the option to use "distributed compiling". Got some volunteer machines on your network? Just enter the i.p. addresses of those machines and they'll help make short work of compiling gcc and xfree86.
You have never seen anything as awesome as installing a sourcemage kernel. Do this:
cast -r -c linux
That's it. You'll be presented w/ not only a list of available kernels from kernel.org but also all the patches available! It will download the kernel to /usr/src, unpack, run menuconfig, build the kernel AND modules and install them. All you have to do is go add your new kernel to LILO (or GRUB) and that's it!
You can track the testing branch or the stable branch, the 'sorcery' command will fix any broken 'spells' for you and all you need do to remove a spel is 'dispel <spell>'.
You can cache all the spells if you have the hdd space and then if you need to recompile you don't have to dl them again- just 'cast' them again. All md5sums are checked for each downloaded spell as well- you won't be trying to install a broken app.
Go get the 0.6 .iso right away- you won't regret it. It's not even at 1.0 yet and already it's so awesome. Sure- there are some install bugs to work around but they're minor. It took about 30 minutes for me on my first install because I had to get a few answers. Now I can install it in about 15 miutes. This is a new Linux entirely I'd say. No, they don't have as many 'spells' as Debian or Gentoo but just give them time or better yet- write some yourself! Of course you can still install any tarballs you want just like always. Then do 'gaze alien' to see which apps were not installed via 'sorcery'.
Get on irc.freenode.net #sourcemage, talk to the dev's- they're a very helpful and friendly group.
I can't say enough about Sourcemage- it's the best thing since glowing green cheese.
Just realized that I'm going to have to change my sig line now!