Re: eliminating -source packages
I don't think that source should be viewed as a system-wide resource. I
like the `apt-get source' approach you mention, it just download and unpacks
the source where you are, without side effects.
I think users should be able to work with sources in any machine they don't
have the root password (e.g: master). So I propose this twist to your idea:
I define the idea of a "source repository" as a simple dir with some kind
of control meta-data (a file?). Standing in this dir you could install
source packages to it (unpacked as subdirs), and the repository would be
self consistent (with depends). As the depends will have to be fulfilled,
packages can rely on accessing ../<other-package> .