I have become some what convinced that gentoo linux is an idea who’s time has passed. I don’t mean to demean or diminish the OS, I used it for a while a couple of years ago and loved it. Building the OS from the ground up is a great way to learn about linux, and I think it will always serve a purpose as a teaching tool. However the time commitment involved in getting even standard software running is too much. I suppose that you can choose to install binaries for many titles, but that method of installation is far easier on other platforms. In the past when most of the software was fairly simple command line and curses based things may have compiled faster, now you wait many hours for a gui program compile.
I did get the touchscreen working on gentoo, and in the process learned a bit about hal and the new xorg setup. After nearly two days of working on it I couldn’t bring myself to delete the OS, so it now sits on a partition somewhat unfinished. I couldn’t get NetworkManager to work (although wpa_supplicant worked fine), and that was a bit bit of a deal breaker for me. There was a day when we where glad to get wireless working at all, now it has to be easy.
So I am back on ubuntu 9.04, I removed xorg.conf and configured everything in hal. I am waiting to see if this fixes the instability I experienced with the Xserver, otherwise I may still have to go back to 8.10.