Slackware has always been at the top for me.
From 2.2.0 to 14.0 and beyond.
I need a distro that lets me do what I want and does not get in my way. The package management is many times beyond what I need. And if the distro does not provide it, I have had little to no problems building anything I could need on a base install.
I personally prefer to hand build any applications I use, and routinely do so even if they are included with Slackware as I eventually find a desire for variant features.
One can royally screw up a Slackware install and easily fix the problem within minutes.
I tried RH and Debian a while back just to check them out. Needless to say, I still utilize Slackware as the basis for my systems.
Probably, it is like a dialect. You learn to speak, picking up the dialect of the ones you hear around you. When you hear someone speak with a different dialect, it just sounds plain silly. You are just so used to things being a specific way that it just seems right. Everything else is just plain silly.