Yup. We considered the popular .deb format, but ultimately decided to go with RPM, since RPM packages tend to be smaller, easier to work with (especially for dependency tracking), and are used more widely. There are more packages available as RPMs than as .debs, so users can continue to enjoy the wide selection of packages available in Portage once we finish moving to RPM. Not to mention the LSB favors RPM more than any other format.
. . . .
"Things That Will Never Happen #102: replace ebuilds with RPMs."
On a more serious note, if you're interested in testing and installing
the latest beta release
, we need feedback
on what doesn't work and what does. Please be sure to search our existing bugs before reporting, though. Reports are starting to trickle in, so it's possible we already know about the issue.