also i found out recently that compiling into ram (on gentoo wiki there's an article on how to set portage) speeds-up the update time in about 50% or more in terms of time. now i'm looking to the opensuse 10.3 init scripts and try to see if i can speed up the startup process of gentoo (on my machines the last opensuse seems faster to boot into kde of about 8-10 seconds).
for the rest i found out gentoo having the best update and install package around, there's no versioning, the profile can be updated with ease and only in the packages that need update, the rebuild broken is also very good.
i can say that after going with gentoo for about 3 years now, it is the best linux distro if you update frequently and stay tuned on the bleeding edge.
on the other hand if i want to update from time to time and just use the system for little time it's better to use a precompiled distro since it's faster to install and update.
now, speaking of this 2008.0 release, if there isn't any major profile update there isn't a need to bump another release. at most it'd be useful a new stage package once a month and portage snapshots 1 or 2 times a week.