Gentoo’s system for maintaining packages, Portage, has had a significant speed boost with version 2.1. Synchronising the tree (the equivalent of Debian’s ‘apt-get update’) feels several times faster. I don’t mind compiling my own apps (I leave it going overnight), but I do mind if I have to wait for ages before I can start the compilation in the first place. Anybody who has been scared away from Gentoo in the past because of Portage should give it another go.
Note that this does not affect compilation times. It does, however, hasten the package management both before and after compilation.