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mixing stable and testing

I'm new to Debian.  I'm replacing an old RH firewall/router/server with Woody.

I obviously want to track stable (since this server needs to be secure), but there are a few packages that I want from testing or unstable. How to do this?

I've read that the safest way to go is to get the sources for the packages I want and recompile, to avoid picking up other unwanted dependencies.

But I don't understand how this will interact with APT. That is, suppose I get the sources, compile, and install the resulting binary package. What happens when the package is updated in testing/unstable? Will apt-get or dselect get me the updated _source_ package? The binary package? Or will I have to manually track the package myself.

Similarly, what happens if it's updated in stable? Will my package from testing/unstable be replaced?

Do I need to pin the package in my apt configuration?

Finally, should I delete the binary package I built once it's installed or should I stash it somewhere? If I keep it, does it need to be in a special directory structure? Does it need to be referenced by /etc/apt/sources.list?

Thanks in advance for any insight,

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