I used Slackware on and off from around version 8 until 10. I loved how stable it was and how much I learned by using it, but eventually I got fed up with searching google for an application, downloading it, extracting it, configuring and then having to start the process over again for whatever missing dependency caused configure to fail.
After leaving Slackware, I used Gentoo, Arch, Debian and Ubuntu, all of which have automatic dependency resolution. After a couple of years, I've come to realize that it's not as great as I once thought. Debian/Ubuntu pulls in a lot of garbage dependencies that I don't want. And Gentoo likes to shuffle around USE flags so that *something* breaks everytime I update world (this last time it was ac3 audio playback in xine).
Now I'm thinking of coming back to Slack. But I've never used any of these package managers I've seen people talking about like slapt-get, swaret, slackbuilds, etc.
I guess what I'm asking for is opinions about them, how well are they maintained, how large are their repositories, and so on. As always, any advice is appreciated