Aspell needed gpm and gpm needed aspell. I think that's because I've specified "gpm" in USE flags. To compile aspell, I had to specify a local "-gpm" flag, like this:
USE="-gpm" emerge --resume
Emerge resumed compilation and now my processor is 100% busy again.
I wonder what makes Gentoo attractive. Maybe all this compilation stuff makes people think "…wow… my machine is doing amazing things now! I like that!"