Gentoo is alive. Just wanted to state that for the record. I use it and it works fine. I say that having ditched Gentoo many times in the past looking for something better. I always end up coming back to Gentoo because it works best for me. If Gentoo sucked I'd ditch it again in a second. But it works very well.
It seems like if Gentoo has a problem, it's not that no work is being done, but that no one other than the people doing the work (the devs) ever hears about it. Let's hope that'll start to change now. Gentoo.org has seen a flurry of updates recently. There have also been a lot of really insightful posts on Planet Gentoo. Maybe sometimes you need a little bit of controversy to stir things up and move people to act.
It's not entirely the fault of the people running Gentoo for not sharing information with the user community. Half the blame falls on people like me and many other users who don't do enough to go and find this information for ourselves. I'm trying more to read Planet Gentoo and the mailing lists regularly so I know what's going on. I myself have had some opinions which I realized were largely uninformed, once I investigated more closely the present state of Gentoo. It's too easy to be caught up in these things sometimes.
There is a lot of emotional reaction to things in the Gentoo community. Little problems are blown way out of proportion. "It's the end of the world!" is shouted from the rooftops. Not everyone does this, but enough people do it loudly enough that it's noticed by many.
Personally I like to view this as a good sign, in a way. It shows that people are really passionate about Gentoo. Devs and users both. It's just that the passion is sometimes misdirected into panic and complaints rather than into constructive criticism and productive contributions. If Gentoo was on the verge of disappearing, no one would care about it this much. It would fade away slowly and silently.
Gentoo could be better, but so could anything. And a lot of people are working hard to make it better. Kudos to everyone who keeps Gentoo working smoothly.