I decided to give Sabayon Linux a try, after using Ubuntu for over a year now.
I have heard good things about Gentoo based Linux and the control that it gives you over your system, so Sabayon seemed like a good starting point, as it isn't too 'geeky'.
I'm not afraid of the command line, as I have used it since early days at Uni, with Unix.
I downloaded the DVD iso and burnt it, without trouble.
The LiveDVD booted-up fine, but when I tried to install onto my HDD it kept coming up with an error and aborted the install.
I then realised what the problem was. When the LiveDVD loaded-up it was also mounting the HDD. This is unusual for a live DVD, as normally, the HDD is locked, so that you can't damage things with your current OS.
I then un-mounted the HDD and the install started. However, when it looks at the HDD, it mounts it again, for the partitioning setup, and you have to un-mount it again for the formatting to proceed.
For the unwary, like myself and especially for newbies, this could be a big stumbling block.
Changes need to be made to overcome this glaring deficiency.
That aside, once the install proceeded, all went well, and everything was installed without a hitch.
I was impressed that Sabayon automatically recognised my laptop's Intel graphic chipset and that it was just a matter of clicking on a button to enable 3D effects.
Compiz Fusion worked straight-up and my screen resolution and colour depth were automatically configured. Very impressive.
I'm still trying to get my head around Portage, but I very much like the concept of every application being compiled specifically for my hardware.
I tried using Portato, and it worked fine, but as I am coming from a Debian background, I found Porthole much more intuitive as it is virtually identical to Synaptic Package Manager and it gives you much more info about what files have been installed and where.
I would appreciate any feedback on whether Portato should be used instead of Porthole and why.
Overall, I'm very impressed with this distro and if the HDD mounting problem during install can be sorted, I don't see why a newbie should have any problems with it.