Great. I'm glad you fell in love with Gentoo. The truth is, most distros *are* as flexible as Gentoo is. However, with Gentoo you are forced to meddle with it at the beginning. Throughout your Gentoo experience you will learn more about etc files, compiling kernels, and using unix tools than any Unix primer would teach you. I smile everytime I'm able to pipe some commands together to do something really cool.
It really is nice being able to know exactly what your system is doing and to know exactly how it is configured. It amazes me how people complain about config scripts. If you ask me, config scripts offer a searchable and restorable way to configure your system. Heck, you can backup your whole configuration in a single tarball and store it off-site.
Software-wise there is not _that_ much going on on this forum. We are still sort of pioneering and have alot of work to do. So please share your ideas and comments with us as we develop these new frontends.
Linux truely is a breath of fresh air.