do you remember the days when auto* were not widely used? i certainly do and it brings back a lot of not very pleasant memories. most of versioning & co problems are caused by authors of software, not auto* authors. if you are scared of less, well maybe your terminal has scrollback buffer and you can easily scroll back (even with mouse wheel in X). you can't expect Joe User to mess with developement tools and know anything of CFLAGS & co, prebuilt packages is what he is after. and for the rest of us, auto* works just fine and combined with checkinstall it is joy to roll your own packages tailored exactly to your needs. but that doesn't mean auto* is divinely perfect, remember that competition brings innovation.