Thought I'd add a few cents to this discussion.
I can't comment on the reliability of linuxpackages.net as I never use anything from there.
Packages are useful, but you can't beat installing from source ;-), but the drawback is that it can be a pain to uninstall things if they've been installed from source.
The way round this is to install the packages using checkinstall which creates a package before installing it.
You could then submit the package to www.linuxpackages.net
if you wanted to help contribute :-)