Re-emerging into Gentoo land...
After all the playing around with ports that I've done recently in Crux and FreeBSD (and while I'm still in a semi-distro-hopping mood), I decided last night to install Gentoo once again. This was my first Gentoo install since around 2004, so I was curious to see how it has been shaping up. The install went fine, except that the official installation disk (64-bit, no-multilib) would not work with my internet connection for some reason. Being anxious to get the install completed before the night was over, I switched to my trusty 64-bit version of Parted Magic to install Gentoo and it worked without a hitch. On this install, I went with a GPT partition layout, and GRUB2 for the bootloader. This box will remain very much an "anti-Gnome, anti-KDE" machine and is running only the base system, with some lightweight apps such as openbox, rox, urxvt, leafpad, and pypanel.
It was very surprising to see how much user activity has fallen off at the Gentoo forums since I last used them, and how the "hits-per-day" for Gentoo on the DistroWatch hits-per-day chart have dropped. Guess I'll have to do some reading to find out what's going on with all that.
Edit: just wanted to add that while my internet connection wouldn't work with the official installer CD, it worked fine after the install was completed.