Good stuff, I also find Arch Linux's documentation fun and absorbing (and quite often a sufficient overview when looking into configuration) even though I've never really used Arch.
One thing I find interesting is older/slower recycled hardware and configuring/compiling everything yourself hit the same kind of yankee conservativism for me, but don't work so well together unless you go to pretty extreme minimalism, such as never using the large evergreen browsers (which can take a week to build on older hardware) or fancy compilers.
In the distant past, I used gentoo and treated a constant build cycle as its own sort of meditation. More recently, I moved to nixos and accepting it's defaults builds (and therefore cached builds) as a sort of bug oriented version of Occam's razor. The least changed system is the least likely to exhibit an unreported problem.. But it is hard to resist the pull of testing builds which brings in the draw of the best tools which is sadly still the newest instead of quality tools that last in a more traditional trade.