When did Debian have new software? What world does this guy live on? And who is calling it "Popular Linux" exactly?
Also, older does not mean more stable. The opposite has been my experience with trying to get the old software on Debian (like its default dhcp client) to work compared to Gentoo. Gaim 0.70 is an example of that, I'm sure that's too old for several protocols. RealPlayer 8, with its own weird widget set, is less stable and harder to use then RealPlayer 10 which uses GTK 2.