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Repeat to myself, the distro package manager isn't the problem. The options that the maintainers chose is what shapes the distro.
That is irrelevant for small packages but will determine how the system will behaviour as a whole. And don't forget about patches that must be applied and file relocations that need to be done.
Anyway, good interview.
PS. I like checkinstall but frankly, keep in mind that it is to be used on small packages that are not in the distro repository.