I'm really trying to see if it's any faster than slack
Don't get me wrong - Gentoo is cool, and emerge is da bomb but...
The most satisfying Gentoo experience I've had was to do a stage 3 install then update the packages I used, otherwise it takes FOREVER to finish the install.
In the end, Slackware seems faster to me, plus upgrading to KDE3.2 was a snap - download packages from slackware-current on www.slackware.com,
then run updatepkg kde*
BAM, it's done (bnice bows in respect to Patrick V.)
I've spent two days futzing with it and still can't get Gentoo to load xserver without taking forever and having my mouse and keyboard be unresponsive... ugh
If you have a working X installed in slack, copy /etc/X11/XF86Config over to Gentoo's /etc/X11.
That worked flawlessly for me.