I seem to have taken on a habit from my brief return to Gentoo. I noticed that their Live CD installer built a simple three-partition drive arrangement, with a combined partition for home and root. It’s easier to see than describe, so …
/dev/hda1 Primary 96Mb /boot : ext2
/dev/hda2 Primary 512Mb : swap
/dev/hda3 Primary ~ / : ext3 + dir_index
It also moves swap closer to the front, which is probably wise if you’re going to swap a lot.
I’ve used this arrangement the last two times I rebuilt my 300Mhz machine (I need a name for this machine … I keep calling it by its stats, and that’s clumsy). I can’t say that there’s any difference in the performance, it is quicker on the setup.
And since this machine seems to be blanked and reinstalled twice a week at least, there’s little need for a dedicated /home partition. There’s nothing on it.