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Package system vs. source vs. both

Here is a problem, I could not get the X to run from the packages on my
machine. It either would not configure, hang during configuration or refuse
to accept my settings. I am not an advanced user, therefore I often have no
facility to trace these kind of issues.

As a result I downloaded the binaries of Xfree and it runs as a charm. I
compiled Emacs and my crappy pentium200 is now a bit more friendly, or at
least it offers the alternative to terminal.

Although initially this was a matter of curiosity, X runs very smoothly and
I would like to keep it, and enrich it with more software.

The problem I have created here is rather obvious, the package manager
doesn't know I have X libraries on my system and therefore, anything
requiring Xlibs will not install, since it forces the dependecies to be
configured as well. You probably get the rest of the story.

I would like to find out from you some of the experiences and tactics you
might be employing when dealing with the package systems. Is it packages or
sources all the way, or are hybribds a common thing?



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