The only profile I set was to "core". After I got passed this (with the commands I gave above) I changed it to "desktop". My make.config was minimal, basically USE="X acpi" and VIDEO_CARDS="vesa radeon". I'm afraid I spent the whole day working on this, so I suspect I am too far beyond where I was to dump any useful info at this point.
A bit O.T. but maybe it will be useful... It is really nice to get highly optimized programs for my machine. Everything runs quite snappy. I don't mind all the time it takes to compile from source to reap that benefit. Unfortunately beyond that upside there has just been one problem after another. With very little to go on, I've spend two whole days searching the internet for solutions over and over. The first being the issue of this thread. The most common issue I had was emerge reporting some USE issues. I never understood what it was talking about (still don't), and just ended up emrging individual packages (those that seemed most fundamental) by hand until emerge was finally happy to do @world. Frustrating, but something that can be worked through. The show stopper however was getting the video driver and window manager working. I started with openbox to keep things simple, and after much work was able to get it to rotate to portrait and get pcmanfm --desktop up (well mostly, trashcan shows up but no home icons). But when I finally got that far and thought "at last there is hope for this", when I exited from openbox the screen goes black and my system freezes up (using radeonsi drive btw). No idea why. When I ctrl-c to end the xsession instead of usng the exit menu item, it says something about an IO errror. So then I thought maybe installing gnome would help, so I added that to my profile. Went through the emerge rigameroll and after hours of compiling, and setting up gdm (there are really too many conflicting approaches on the web about how to do this, btw) I got gnome to run (although gdm would not run on boot up, that reported another error, so I had to startx). Of course it somehow confused my HDMI connected TV for the primary display and at first I didn't see anything. So that took a bit to figure out and get (partially) corrected. But it did not solve the exit issue. When I try to login as a different user the blank screen and crash occurs.
So, at this point, with all these little issues still unresolved and the huge issue of crashing my machine, after three days of doing nothing but working on this, I've reluctantly decided that I can't afford to devote any more time to it. I wish I could, but I have other things to do. And basically I feel like three days should be enough for a long-time itermediate Linux user to get the basic things up and running. I've always loved the spirit of Gentoo (and now Funtoo), but tinkering with my OS can't take up so much of my time. So I have to let it go. :-( But thanks for the lessons, I did learn some things, and I wish Funtoo all the best.
 Has anyone ever thought about using peer-to-peer networking to share binaries? Surely someone out there compiled with the same arch and USE vars as me...