Of course, portage is Gentoo's most shining feature (as it deserves to be) but there are a lot of other things that Gentoo does differntly from other distributions that should be mentioned as well.
The init script system is well engineered because it allows individual packages to drop their scripts into a directory. If the system administrator then adds them to a runlevel, they are started at the right time in the boot process while automatically keeping track of system dependencies.
Similarly the administration of environment variables is done in an extensible and well thought-out way. If packages require environment variables to be set, they can drop them into a directory which is then scanned to produce an automatically updated environment.
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