Even if you use kde or gnome, they are modular enough. You don't need to install the whole kde in Gentoo, not even the whole kdebase package. You can install konqueror separately if that's all you want (of course, dependencies must be resolved, but it's still much better than having to merge a big monolithic package with lots of apps you'll never use).
When can I find easy to understand info about desktop environments? Most documentation is hard to understand for newbies. KDE and GNOME had so many applications in the package it just puts me off when I look at the list itself.