Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
I’ve used gentoo on and off for around 3 years now, since I got my last box, it’s been powering my main production machine at home. Sure it’s not really a typical-user distro, but I’m not really a typical user.
Gentoo has rightfully become the distribution of choice among hackers. It’s powerful, fast, and extremely customizable. The source based builds lets you tweak packages to your needs with a powerful and (comparatively) simple set of structures.
While it’s true that portage was inspired by FreeBSD ports - it is a much more powerful and reliable version of the idea (I know, I use both systems - this server is running FBSD).
And the man most primarily responsible for this is Daniel Robbins - the man who started gentoo. And if you’ve been following his blogs over the past few weeks - it’s scary. While gentoo the distro is strong and powerful - the gentoo foundation appears to be in a downward spiral that isn’t getting any better.