Should I choose Slackware or Arch as my first distro?
I'm just starting out with Linux, but as a advanced OS X user I'm no newcomer to UNIX. Also, I'm majoring in computer science, so I can't afford to shy away from technicalities, nor would I want to. As such, I want to learn from ground up; I don't want a 'user-friendly' distribution to hold my hand - rather a system that'll teach me linux internals as I work with it. Minimalism, and structural simplicity & elegance are important. At the same time, I don't want a source based distro like Gentoo (and definitely not LFS). Maybe later, but not now.
That said, two distro's I'm considering are Arch Linux and Slackware. The Arch developers have made their philosophy very clear on their website, and everything fits in with my ideas very well. It's also a modern, bleeding edge rolling release system, with a good package manager and repositories - all of which are BIG plus points in my eyes. I also love the fact that I start with a minimal system and then build on it as required - I HATE bloat, and systems filled with stuff I didn't ask for, don't understand and can't use; I like keeping everything under control.
However, I hear of Arch's 'non-standard' configuration methods. I don't want to learn Linux in a manner that's specific to Arch, or any other distro. That means I'll have to unlearn things later. Then I heard the saying 'Study distroxyz and you'll learn distroxyz, but study Slackware and you'll learn Linux'. That's EXACTLY what I want to do - learn Linux. I've briefly tried both distros and both 'feel' good, though Arch seems easier to use - due to the centralized configuration and pacman. But 'easy to use' is of course, not my priority.
So what do you folks make of this? I've been trying to make up my mind for about two weeks, and really must make a choice now. Please advise. And PLEASE don't tell me to continue with both, that would almost count as bloat in my book. :)
Thanks in advance.