After using redhat for quite some years i decided to give gentoo (www.gentoo.org) a try. The main advantage is their impressive package system called ‘portage’.
The drawback of the redhad distributions is that you always need the correct rpm if you want to install something, and at the end you always end up compiling it from source using a tarball because the right rpm (or srpm – source rpm) does not exist or is outdated or your redhat version is not recent enough / compatible or whatever.
I have tried to build mplayer on redhat 8 for instance. First i spend some time figuring out all the dependencies, then figuring out all versions that work (or not) together with mplayer, or with each other. It took me a few hours to get this all working, which is all wasted time. With gentoo, each application/package has a team of people (called the “herd”) maintaining the installation scripts (the “ebuilds”) of the package. Entering “emerge mplayer” on a gentoo system will do everything to generate an mplayer for you. When emerge is done, you can start using mplayer.