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Minimal does not contain the stage3 images and portage snapshots. During the install, you would download just the parts needed for your install, and the portage snapshot will be more current. It's really a matter of personal preference. If you just follow the Gentoo handbook, you will be fine.
The "universal" CD, and the "packages" CD, contain more material burned-in to the disk. Which is fine if the computer you're dealing with is not connected to the Internet. But which is fairly unimportant if it is, because the materials available on-line are certain to be much more current.
One thing that differentiates the Gentoo approach from others is that the system which you start with is minimalistic, and you add to it those packages that you have decided you require. The "Portage" system is aware of when one package you have selected requires another, and it is also aware when one of your previous selections precludes the subsequent installation of another. Through the "USE-variable" system it is able to customize the packages as you install them so that unnecessary features are omitted from them. (You compile the packages yourself.)
Gentoo is a very powerful system, but I warn you that it should not be your first foray into the world of Linux. (I don't think so, anyway... others certainly disagree.)