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I've pretty much done a 180 - I now have a love affair with binary systems for any kind of production. (Including Desktop systems, workstations, and especially servers.) I read a great line in my Absolute OpenBSD book ... it goes something like this. "Hackers love it when you have a working compiler on your server. It makes their life that much easier."[/quote]
You could always build the packages elsewhere, then emerge --usepkgonly on the production server.