Yep, just like in the best distro thread, Gentoo its a LONG installer! no 2 hours i'm up and running, with a gui interface.
As far as to the T, it basically means follow it to the letter, which just someone happened to define as the letter T because it sounded good. Or they were a golfing person and T sounds like tee, and well its small and holds a ball in place type of thing.
But yes the best advice we can give is find a distro that does what you want.