ooh, nice thread idea.
i've seen some of the sort of thing you speak of, and, i diid take some of it a bit too seriously, until i read an uncyclopedia (or was it rationalwiki) article about it. nothing like a bit of reductio absurdism to pull ones head out of ones ass.
i've been interested in exherbo since... likely some short time after it started in 2007, iirc. had a few pokes at it over the years, and just this year started using it on the laptop with some commitment. (still have previous install dormant on a semi-defunct hd in the workstation, where i hit nvdia and mesa problems that demoralised n derailed that attempt to use it)
if you want to find a distro that was created more for political reasons, as related too gentoo, that would be funtoo (though, even that is misleading). exherbo's rich rich RICH in the technical reasoning. a read through the paludis site, now merged into thhe exherbo site at paludis.exherbo.org, should no doubt reveal this to be so. ~ the features page, i find particularly attractive.
but yes, there is a "political" element to it too. in the sense of "how we get things done". the "what we expect" page, offers a nice slice of insight into the different way exherbo does things. note i said the word "commitment" earlier. use of exherbo is quite involved, emphasised by there being no wall between users and developers. ... that is how it should be, imo, with Free[dom] Software.
anyhoo, idk if i've added anything with the coherence sought in the op, but what do i think?
i lub exherbo!
not because everything "just works" (it certainly doesnt), but because [insert the ten thousand other reasons]. ;D