Oh, and actually the Debian package system _is_ quite easy to understand. All data formats can be hacked, viewed, sliced, diced as you want - they are all standard stuff (ar archives, tar.gz files and simple text files). Not as some other packaging systems where you need special tools to drill in. And the mechanism that apt-get builds on is quite simple - just the package files which contain the dependencies and hints. Even the tools to build packages are standard stuff - you can still hack your package yourself without using any special tools (although the special tools do make life much easier).
And let's be honest: doing a whole system update by just "apt-get dist-upgrade" on a life machine without taking it down is allmost as cool as doing your first "make world" on a BSD box ;-)