I liked Red Hat 7.3 but I couldn't stand 8.0 or 9.0. I do like FC1, but I find it less "Linux friendly" than 7.3 as I can't figure out my easy one command or one click thingies I made work in FC1. I think I have quite a bit more speed than with the previous versions, but they are using more automatic scripts so that when I look at a config file, it is full of some kind of script instead of the straight forward text I got used to using to configure.
Actually, when I get everything tweaked and working in Gentoo on this box, I think Red Had or Fedora will fall by the wayside. I might try Knoppix (Debian based) there. I will always have fond memories of it as my first learning distro, though, even though they seem to be following one leader I don't like very much (high priced, buggy, software, most popular OS) in their "automation" of installation, automatic configurations with probes etc. At least it asks and I know that I didn't remove my mouse and I can tell it so.
I like Gentoo because you have complete control over what gets installed, the initialization is much easier to understand than other system I have played with. All the config files can be hand edited.
I just built a fileserver with Gentoo and all the trouble I have had is getting framebuffer working properly (I don't want to run X on it but I like to see a full webpage if I use elinks.
I do have X installed on the fileserver and a ton of window manager and desktop environments to play with to see if there is anything I like better than fluxbox and I find myself playing on it more than this box lately. I just wish I could get framebuffer going, though.