Mini LiveCD vs LiveCD
The author complains that the miniLiveCD is not adequate for the installation, so he had to download/burn the liveCD again. But later, he grabbed the snapshot of portage, and compile almost everything from the scratch, — the troublemaker, zlib is in system metaclass, — so why bother to go for the LiveCD? Eventually, the liveCD is used in the 2nd run.
GUI vs CLI
I strongly suggest the CLI interface for either savvy user or newbies. You have more control of the packages, configurations.
I have never used Debian or Ubuntu, just curious how Debian users update/rebuild the kernels. Does Debian is powered by smart tools to probe the devices automatically? If so, why Gentoo could not adapt it as well?
I know quite a few Linux users hate this word. But it really works. Gentoo enjoys the reputation to have the high quality documentation, wiki and forum. You can easily find a solution in Gentoo’s community than Google.