It only took around 5 hours of system time to compile the base system and large chunks of Gnome. Its still not fully setup yet but I'm getting there. One thing has already come to my attention. If you execute:
[root@malory]# netstat -ln Active Internet connections (only servers) Active UNIX domain sockets (only servers)
That's all the output you get. Nothing is running as a server. With Gentoo you really do have an unprecedented level of control over whats going on in your system. Of course you can get this by building a system from scratch. The difference if the portage system makes adding new software easy. I don't have to manually download and compile each library you need for firefox for example. You just type:
[root@malory]# emerge mozilla-firefox
And portage goes and downloads all the dependencies and builds them for you. I guess you have to try it to appreciate what its like.