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I think Gentoo is a very nice distribution if you don't plan on using KDE/Gnome. I'm not a fan of the two desktop environments so this is not an issue for me. I'm a fluxbox fan who likes to keep his system minimal yet fully functional and efficient. The installation process is very nice as it gives you a clean base to start with (keeps the bloat out). Build times can be pretty nasty with packages like firefox but once that's out of the way, it's all ok. I do painles updates once or twice a week.