beat me to it again
Try RHEL 5.4, cent os 5.4, or fedora 11/12 and click on "server" on the package selection screen.
Or if you're already familiar with Linux debian's good and Ubuntu server ain't bad either.
On redhat based systems, like RHEL 5.4, cent os 5.4, or fedora 11/12, you'll be able to use yum to easily customize your apache, apache modules, php, mysql, etc without having to compile from source.
If you're looking for something very specialized then you should look into compiling from source as ijack
suggested. There's a learning curve, compiling is harder than using yum, rpm and apt-get, dpkg.