When I started, I was not aware of the gentoo update programs, so I use my own little script, which searches for ._cfg files which correspond to RCS controlled files, and use diff or emacs emerge-* facilities to compare and update. It is a newer program, I think ultimately suppose to replace etc-update. It was then beta if my memory is correct and had not been in the guides yet and I don't know when it will be in the guides.
The whole process takes maybe 5 minutes in a heavy week. If you need more information, the post was about the proper way to update your system as suggested by a Gentoo developer.
Why then are you trying to drive Gentoo without learning them?
Just because you've used other cars/Linux-distribs doesn't mean Gentoo's controls are in the same place or work the same way, and if you get it wrong, you can easily be a danger to yourself and others.
There's also documentation in example and in the various manpages, and emerge, in particular.
Unless you are short on space (it requires 2-4 gig to store the binpkgs for an entire system, with several versions of the frequently updated ones), I'd recommend setting FEATURES=buildpkg, as it DEFINITELY makes rolling back to earlier versions of a package, or simply retrieving files as they were in the original package, MUCH easier than having to remerge from source an entire package!
I don't see the original post yet, here, so I'll reply to this one.Once in a while, some package will have a major re-org and it takes longer to copy changes, but it is not difficult, and these major changes would take longer under any system. I can that post and send you a link to it if you are still looking for stuff on this topic. I apologize for the off topic intrusion, but if that's a common problem and you use gmane to read the list, You might want to try Nabble.My major inherent assumption is that if I haven't put a file under RCS control, I don't care what changes an update makes. It has alerts to your posts and a gateway and archives thought not as far back as gmane.*** So, when I do an etc-update, I look at the list of all the files needing to be updated. I asked only to see if there was another possibly better method of handling configuration files.I note the numbers of only the ones that I have made changes to - either in the initial setup of my box, or since then. I was not aware of dispatch-conf at the time as I had been using etc-update.