OK, I may have been a bit harsh when I stated that the instructions are deliberately misleading. I maintain there can be no denying that the instructions are incomplete and confusing. Some examples:
At the end of Part 9, we are told that stage 3 tarballs have ELIMINATED the need to "emerge sync". The next sentence tells us it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to "emerge sync". The first sentence of Part 10 says we NEED to "emerge sync". Which is it?
If you are using a stage 2 or 3 tarball, at which point do the instructions stop applying to you and at which point do you pick up again? Why don't they just say, "if you have a stage 3 tarball, proceed to Part X"? Is it extremely easy to make this part crystal clear, but Gentoo has chosen not to do so.
The part after "Code listing 14.2 Compiling the kernal". Arguably the most critcal part of the installation procedure. We are told what flags we need to set before compiling our kernal. Where are these flags set? What file are we to edit, if that is what we are supposed to do? It just says set this flag, enable this or that without a mention of where to do it! This is the point where 2 of 4 of my test subjects were stopped dead in their tracks, unable to continue. Those that did continue (myself included) had systems that would not work properly because certain elements were not compiled.
Yes, as a few of you have mentioned, if you have installed linux from scratch before, this is all elementary and quite simple. Those of us trying to make the jump from RH, Mandrake or SuSE are in foreign territory. i.e. the majority of the linux community would have trouble with this install.