Ah, but the beauty of Gentoo is that while your portage tree may have grown, that doesn't mean that you have to take advantage of it.
It's like buying a car... it used to be that you could buy a car with no AC, no radio, and no power-anything. Nowadays, those things are just standard. Why? Because they're so popular, and don't detract in any way. If you want extras (navigation, DVD, etc.) those are available too. The concept is choice, and having a "bigger minimum" doesn't detract from that at all.
Gentoo is that car, only today you can still get it without AC. (Try getting that from Ford or Chevy!) If you want minimal, install minimal, and run with it. If you prefer otherwise, that's your choice too. Your portage tree being bigger only means that "emerge sync" is going to take a tiny bit longer, but there may come a time when you want some obscure piece of software, and that larger portage tree might not seem so bad... ;)
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