Loyalty is an admirable quality but let's not get carried away. Debian underpins a *lot* of distros and they fix more bugs than all the other distros.
Where gentoo scores heavily for me is the docu. Along with arch they have raised the bar regarding user guides and stuff. A lot of people will look to arch and gentoo online docu first.
Same source code makes gentoo or debian or whatever you want. Things get fixed because end users can easily recompile things with different cflags, patches and use flags and not just whine on a forum.
you really think i'm some sort of sycophant with loyalty to blah distro - i really dont care - if you can find me something better for development you show me ? on the other hand if you think i'm dicking around for 3 hours setting up my sisters laptop you can forget it - she'll get debian or mint or some crap i wouldn't use personally but just works
is this thread dead yet - its completely off topic anyway
[EDIT] the point was gentoo-gnu/linux isn't exotic, debian-gnu/hurd is exotic in my opinion and you'd be struggling to get your nvidia blob running on it but its still nice