RPM dependency hell happens for a variety of reasons. Some include not using the tools provided by your distribution to manage packages, e.g. yum, apt, urpmi etc. Another is downloading third party packages from the web, which may not have been built for your distro or distro version hence resulting in a lot of unsatisfied requirements. If you use tools like apt, yum and urpmi, package management on rpm based distros is fairly easy and dependencies are automatically resolved, thus eradicating the so called "rpm hell" that many people talk about.
Debian based distributions use apt/synaptic, so dependencies are automatically resolved. Debians apt/synaptic worked quite well compared to the tools that rpm based distros had a few years ago and thats why Conectiva ported it to rpm based distros.