It all boils down to if you trust the package maintainer to select the best compiler optimizations or if you believe you can select better general ones. Many maintainers are highly competent people and the data seems to support that.
Of course, rebuilding packages from source is really simple in Debian too, so it's not really only distribution dependent.
That said, most Gentoo people probably use the distribution because the build flags are quite handy, not because of some imaginary performance benefits.
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