Actually, my most wanted feature for Freshmeat has always been ratings (but not anonymous ones!) similar to the Linux Game Tome. Displaying search results ordered by rating as an option would make life alot simpler.
My second most wanted feature is to screen the comments that are submitted. They'd be a big help if they were limited to reviews of the package, and not bug reports for ancient versions, or three month old discussions on ideas for new features.
Another cure worse than the disease
This is Classic Mistake #3(tm), a solution to a nonexistant problem.
When comparing packaging schemes, it's fair to compare two things, the package file format and the packaging tools.
As far as rpm and deb go, neither is a particuarly bad format. RPM is probably slightly more capable, with both of them having minor problems. In any case, designing a third incompatible format rather than fixing one of the existing two is the wrong answer.
Tools are slightly more of a Holy War. Apt certainly seems to be the most popular, but rpm is much more capable for some situations. Not suprisingly, those situations also deliniate the typical users of the different distributions. rpm excells in corporate, server-farm type installs while apt shines on the home/hacker desktop. As many people have pointed out, however, either tool could easily work with the other format, so writing new tools is also the wrong answer.
The real issue is that Linux doesn't refer to a platform, or even an operating system, just an operating system kernel. Things like generic dependancies, package categories, etc all need to be decided above the vendor level for any multi-vendor OS. To that end, the right things to focus on are:
1. Getting the LSB to settle on a package format now, not later. There's already a stated "plan of record" to adopt rpm, which seems to have drawn a minimal of complaints. So, enough's enough, adopt rpm as the lsb standard and get it over with.
2. Wrestle www.rpm.org away from being RedHat-only and give it a gcc/apache type steering commitee which makes all descisions affecting the file format. I suggest including both RedHat and Debian people and folding the few features .debs have that rpms lack which are generally useful into the next rpm format. The rpm specification should also be extended to provide a definitive set of categories, generic dependancies, etc.
With a widely-accepted and sane format, the tools used won't matter. And, with only one package format to support, more developers will be willing to support it. The entire --nodeps fiasco disappears when the tarball can be coverted to an rpm via rpm -tb tarball. On the same note, most people could care less what package format apt uses, as long as it works.
Additionally, I feel compelled to correct an earlier post that the RedHat update agent is a pay service. It, in fact, will also work in an anonymous fashion. It's a bit flaky, however, and I will conceed that apt wins for network updates.