I think that you have made your installation attempt at an unfortunate time in the FreeBSD evolution. The FreeBSD manual is usually very good, but FreeBSD is currently transitioning to a new packaging toolkit (pkgng) and the docs are still some way from completely catching up.
Also, with the recent security issues within the project infrastructure, the binary packages are not being generated in the usual fashion and may be lagging behind. Hopefully these issues will be resolved soon.
As a regular user of Gentoo and (less so) Ubuntu, I find FreeBSD to be the most consistent and easiest to get around, particularly the packaging. But as you say, I've used it since version 3, so I'm immersed in the logic of it.