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automake/autoconf in build-dependencies

I have often tried to argue my position on automake/autoconf in
packages' build dependencies: I do not think they belong there. If
a package does not build without automake or autoconf, it is broken
and should be fixed. However, bugs like #298336 seem to suggest that
other maintainers deem it entirely appropriate to "go the easy way"
-- if I may call it that without being condescending towards Uwe.

I seem to recall the devel-reference or some similar document to
specifically address this issue, but I cannot find the location

Thus I am interested in opinions of people who argue that
automake/autoconf are perfectly acceptable as build dependencies.
Also, are there technical arguments against these build
dependencies? I am too inexperienced with the GNU autotools to
come up with something.

I am perfectly aware that there are (and should be) exceptions. For
instance, if a package should be made available sooner rather than
later, and the maintainer then sits down to work on the autotools
configuration to fix the bug for the next upload. However, this
always bears the danger that the maintainer then loses interest and
the archive will contain what I claim to be a broken source
package... even though it may well build.

Please do not send copies of list mail to me; I read the list!
 .''`.     martin f. krafft <madduck@debian.org>
: :'  :    proud Debian developer, admin, user, and author
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