Expect a longer post in the near future on upgrade procedures. For now enjoy this quote from a gentoo user illustrating the worst way to upgrade.
linolium: is there a way to wipe every single table and start over from scratch?
linolium: ( the upgrade from mysql 4 to 5 didn’t go as smoothly as planned
me: did you read the upgrade notes?
linolium: no, I just hoped that portage would be kind enough to do those things for me