Things are coming along further now - I have compiled X and it works! I have settled on E17 for a window manager as I currently have a working gnome/compiz setup in Ubuntu which I will keep (for now) as a dual-boot. I can't help but feel more excited every day as I get more accomplished.
As I still have not subscribed to high speed internet at home yet (we just moved and are saving money until we get settled in and see what our typical bill will be), I have resorted to downloading sources wirelessly at coffee shops and friends houses and then compiling overnight. I have written some scripts which I will post later on which either download all sources for a world upgrade or download all sources for a particular package. I felt pretty good about writing those, though they are simple and probably boring to "real" bash users.
I could not emerge much without emerging cmatrix :) so that is now on my console!
What fun this geeky stuff is! Maybe I can become more than a bug finder - possibly a developer someday?