I wonder what is the general preference and where does it come from. Having used FreeBSD actively for a couple of years I'm leaning towards Gentoo, but I've had an unpleasant experience of wasting valuable time because Gentoo was installed on a really old machine with unfunny build times.
Had it been something prebuilt package based, less time would be wasted. (I know FreeBSD has binary packages, but problem with these are that they're seemingly unmaintained past a version release and the only way to get fresh stuff is to compile it yourself. Don't know about Gentoo really).
What's your take on this, have you had any experiences that made you switch from source based distro to something else?
EDIT: think I should clarify this recent "experience of mine"
The story goes like this. Having changed jobs, I've got to maintain a rather old machine which hosts LDAP (OpenLDAP) with office user login information. It came to me having to reboot the beast (it wasn't rebooted for 8 months). After the reboot, OpenLDAP didn't came online. It seems like slapd and some other binaries got removed somehow while the system was running. After building ldap package for the first time, I wondered why I got no slapd binary (took 15mins). Some time later I've tracked the issue down to "minimal" flag being on by default, which builds just the libs, no server binaries. End result - ~1hour of crippled office productivity and colleagues using excuses as "I didn't do that because our main server was down".
Really appreciate your answers, but so far no compelling arguments to use source based vs prebuilt package based. Storage space is not an issue these days.