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I have used gentoo in the past, and I just finished installing the 2004.0 build on my Dual processor P4 xeon machine to use it as a workstation and PVR (with MythTV).

I have said in the past that I don't like the time required to do the install (it took me 3 days to get the install done), and the time required to compile updates. Those are still valid points, but I think I need to make some positive points as well.

1. I have a fully functional 2.6.3 kernel with no issues ... first time on this machine.
2. The Nvidia and ATI drivers install like any other package....and they work when they're done installing. (Even on a 2.6 kernel.).
3. Real Player and the plugin work after a normal install.
4. Almost all the packages are compiled to run with the flags I set (pentium4, mmx, sse and sse2) not just the kernel and glibc. It feels faster...
5. The nforce agp, network and audio drivers (for nforce2 motherboards) are installable like any other progam and they work after install....

I followed the Installation manual and had no real problems ...

It was hard to install ... and you do have to pay attention and do things for several days to get the system that you want ... but overall, I have to say that I like the results.

I still wouldn't use gentoo on my main servers (I might actually consider it on my servers if I had an Nforce 2 motherboard and Nvidia 5200 FX (or higher) and/or Radeon 9xxx video card)...but as a workstation, I think it is quite good.
I can see the problems when it comes to compile times, however, there are some ways around this.

With my first install of Gentoo, i installed from Stage 1, obviously this took an insane amount of time to fully install, even on my Athlon XP, so eventually i left gentoo and went back to debian.

The second time around, i was smarter, i downloaded the Athlon optimized livecd for 1.4, and installed from stage 3. I know people use Gentoo because they can do their own optimizations etc. But, I really don't see installing from stage 3 to be that much of a problem, and if you want to optimize, you can always emerge world again later when you have the time.

GRP is great as well, being able to install pre-compiled versions of KDE, X, etc. for your processor saves A LOT of time, and like i said before, if you want to put your own optimization flags in there, you can later on when you feel like it (for example, the other night, it was cold in my room, so i emerge kde for the first time since install).

I use Gentoo for portage, not for optimization, so, using pre-compiled versions doesn't bother me.
The more I use portage, the more I like it.

I am really liking the install that I have on my homw workstation.
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