I'm on a mission. Distros that like to use languages, say like python, for system level stuff should stuff that shit somewhere isolated and ONLY use it for system level stuff.
Then they can provide or not provide a native package for python2.7/python3.1/ruby1.9.2 ... you get the point. With distros like RHEL and Ubuntu LTS, they lose ALL value as a platform for ruby or python development because they don't release often enough or worry about breakage to keep those languages up to date.
This is why companies like ActiveState are making a KILLING providing supported after-market dynamic language binaries.
What the distros should be doing is, besides isolating any dynamic language they use for system-level configuration, providing with the support of the language vendors an installable local package repository. I.e. you should be able to install a base RHEL provided python 2.7 RPM + local PyPi server and grab which packages you want to standardize on. Same goes for Ruby and gems.
This would solve the issue entirely and keep LTS distros like RHEL and Ubuntu from being irrelevent in 2 weeks when a new version of a gem comes out that you have to have for app X.