Ubuntu is what I install on nearly every server and everyone else’s personal computer, but for my own desktop and a few select servers, Gentoo is still the winner.
Binary distributions release a set of packages that have been tested together, which is an excellent service to users. In the open source world, every part of the stack is changing at irregular intervals. Binary distributions serve as the buffer between that wild world and users who just want their computer to work.
However, that buffer has a cost: it has a side effect of adding barriers between open source developers and users. For example, sometimes I need to run a specific version of someone’s software, but my distributor has chosen a different version. This happens quite often for me. With a binary distribution, my options are limited, but with Gentoo, I have several ways I might accomplish that, most of them involving little effort on my part.
I would like to take this moment to say “thanks!” to the Gentoo developers and users who contribute to Gentoo. I realize it’s hard work, and the hardest work might be resolving conflicts with your peers. Your efforts have been worthwhile for me and have not gone unnoticed.