to all those people saying how arch shouldn't be compared to gentoo, and should be compared to debian...well i think you're both right and wrong.
arch can be compared to debian via pacman vs apt.
but arch can also be compared with abs vs emerge....well not quite, but Xentac wrote srcpac, which now can be compared with emerge.
so you have binary package management, AND source management. plus the KISS principles from slackware, and you have the best of 3 worlds. (hmmm nothing from rpm here )
and to those who think compiling takes over your system making you unproductive...i have NO idea how this myth came about cuz it's just plain wrong. needless to say, it still is annoying to wait for any package to finish compiling. and sometimes you need to ask yourself if it really is worth x amount of hours for y amount of speed increase. in most cases, it's not noticeable either.
i've never tried gentoo before, but AFAIK the only advantage gentoo has is the USE flags, which other distros don't have. again, does compiling really make that big of a difference? i've read countless people saying how it never made a difference, or it was all unnoticeable. and i believe them, becuase when i compile packages from source vs binary, i don't notice anything either.
but anyways, the thing i like most about arch however, is its package management is like slack. it doesn't break the system!!! gentoo is famous for being fragile, and apt screws up a lot too. and getting apt fixed is such a pain in the ass. compiling a kernel the apt way is a pain in the ass.
maybe it's because pacman's repository is relatively small, so it won't run into these problems. but i hope the arch developers keep doing a good job and making sure these problems don't come up.
I think any comparison is pretty much useless... even if it's not emotionally based, which, 99% of the time, it is, it's still based on what one person values over another. Some people like to control compilation more than others, some people prefer binaries, etc.
Arch is Arch.