Well, I've decided that I've heard enough about Gentoo, it's time to try it. I like the idea of software compiled with the options I use. To a lesser extent, I can also see a speed advantage with software compiled for your hardware specifically. So, I'm going to put gentoo on my laptop as well as RH9 and I'd like to do some speed tests. I haven't really given it much thought yet, but I've decided it will be an automated script (I don't trust myself to run the commands at the right time etc to do a fair comparison). Some of the things I was thinking about were creating/removing directories, touching files (okay, this is real basic), resizing and doing affects on imagemagick, perhaps encoding a short divx or xvid file, using gimp scripting, etc..
I plan on using only redhat packages on the redhat machine and whatever I can emerge on the gentoo machine, so some of those might not be doable (don't know if there's anything to encode divx on a redhat package.. though, maybe I could just encode oggs instead.)
So, anyone have good ideas for things to run and compare speed between the two?