Well, I probably did this all wrong -- seeing now the Gentoo wiki page on installing. I probably should have started without portage in my image. But I thought I'd share the way I did it, took a couple tries.

emerge --sync

After doing alot of "emerge -upDN world" sorts of things. Put this in my /etc/portage/package.keywords
(I assume it was easiest to go ~x86 on everything for new baselayout etc, but I rather not...)

emerge -uDN world
emerge --depclean

(my route was slightly longer, but I think this is the important part)

Never thought I'd use a hosting company... VPSLINK gives me the control I'm used to. THANKS!